Court rules NSW vets should be licensed

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Despite complaints from the AVA, Racing NSW says vets should be licensed at the track.
Despite complaints from the AVA, Racing NSW says vets should be licensed at the track.

A court ruling enabling Racing NSW to license vets has angered the Australian Veterinary Association which says it will continue to fight the regulation. But the state’s ruling body says it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the sport.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said vets who look after racehorses in stables should be licensed in line with other participants. “We license stablehands, jockeys and trainers who look after horses,” V’landys said. “It is only natural that vets should also be licensed. “If vets have done nothing wrong then they have nothing to worry about. They will be treated like any other licensed person.

“The objective is to ensure everyone is on an equal playing field and everyone has confidence in the industry.”

But AVA president Dr Ben Gardiner said it was a case of over-regulation and detrimental to the sport. “We’re extremely disappointed that Justice Rothman has decided that current legislation gives Racing NSW the power to implement the proposed licensing scheme,” Gardiner said in a statement. “Vets are already very well regulated by the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board and a second overlapping scheme is completely unnecessary.

“It makes no sense to have two different bodies trying to decide whether a vet has done the wrong thing or not. “Today the AVA is announcing its intention to quickly establish a new fighting fund to continue the campaign against this kind of unnecessary double regulation on the veterinary profession.”

Vets who attend race meetings are employed by Racing NSW.

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