Agriculture Minister Mark Furner

August 3, 2020

The State Government has introduced new animal cruelty offences in a bid to protect horses in Queensland.

From August 1 – the traditional Horses’ Birthday – it has become an offence to use an electric prodder on a horse.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the following must also not be used on horses:

  • Any painful procedures such as punching, kicking, whipping, tail twisting etc
  • Sticks, lengths of metal pipe, fencing wire or heavy leather belts
  • Excessive shouting or making loud noises.

He said making the use of electric prodders an act of cruelty was one of the recommendations made by the  Inquiry into Animal Cruelty in the Management of Retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred Horses in Queensland.

“This will help to protect horses from unnecessary pain. Anyone who owns or works with horses – including horse owners, racing industry organisations, trainers, breeders and livestock transporters – will need to comply with this change,” Mr Furner said.

“Farm equipment suppliers should also be aware of this new cruelty offence and inform any customers wanting to purchase electric prodders.

“Anyone working with horses must find alternate ways to safely move stock under their care.”

The maximum penalty for animal cruelty is 2000 penalty units ($266,900) or three years’ jail.

A spokesperson for the Minister confirmed the ban on whipping does not apply to jockeys taking part in thoroughbred horse racing.

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