Using electric prodders on horses has been banned in Queensland.
Using electric prodders on horses has been banned in Queensland.

Queensland Government bans electric prodders on horses

ELECTRIC prodders can no longer be used on horses in Queensland under newly-introduced legislative changes.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner 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'.

"From Saturday, it is a cruelty offence to use an electric prodder on a horse," he said said.

"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.

Horse racing backlash divides the nation: A day at the races has been cause for celebration for many Australians, but over the years the past time has attracted increasing backlash from animal lovers and welfare groups who believe the event is cruel and inhumane.

"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."
In addition to electric prodders, the following must not be used on horses:

Any painful procedures such as punching, kicking, whipping, tail twisting or hitting them with sticks, lengths of metal pipe, fencing wire or heavy leather belts.

Excessive shouting or making loud noises are banned. 

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