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Vets Call On Government To Act

Wednesday, 1st July 2015

The Australian Veterinary Association is calling on the NSW ministers for racing and primary industries to intervene and prevent the "potentially damaging consequences" of Racing NSW's new licensing policy. From today (Wednesday 1 July), equine vets working in NSW will need to be licensed by Racing NSW. Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA), a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association, says that the licence could impact both veterinary services and the racing industry as a whole. EVA Vice President, Dr Ian Fulton, said that vets are already licensed by the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board and the terms of the licence proposed by Racing NSW are unfair. "Under the terms of the licence, Racing NSW can revoke a vet's licence at any time and for no reason. This could have a profound impact on a vet's livelihood without fair and just review processes," Dr Fulton said. "The licence conditions also forbid vets from making public comments concerning any matter that the racing stewards are dealing with. This would restrict a vet's professional obligation to speak up when an animal's welfare is at stake." The EVA is concerned for the future of racing if a second licence were to be introduced by Racing NSW. "Many of our members have told us they will have no choice but to end their involvement with racing rather than agree to a draconian and unfair licence when they are already regulated by the government," Dr Fulton said. "There are 140 race clubs in rural and regional NSW that are likely to be affected. Many vets contribute to their local race club on race day as a community service and will no longer be willing to do so if the proposed licensing system becomes a reality," Dr Fulton said. "It's the job of the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board and the Racing Board to come together and work out a suitable resolution that's fair and reasonable." He added: "We call on the Minister for Racing and the Minister for Primary Industries to make this happen as a matter of urgency."

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