The boss of Racing NSW has misplaced a defamation case over an ABC expose on animal cruelty and wastage within the business.

Peter V’landys sued the broadcaster within the Federal Courtroom over a 7.30 episode titled The Ultimate Race, which revealed retired racehorses have been being slaughtered in a Queensland abattoir.

Mr V’landys alleged this system, which aired in October 2019, defamed him and broken his status as a regulator.

He claimed he was denied procedural equity as a result of he was not proven hidden digital camera footage recorded in a Meramist abattoir earlier than or throughout his interview.

Justice Michael Wigney in the present day dominated that not one of the 4 imputations allegedly contained in this system have been conveyed, and dismissed the case with prices towards Mr V’landys.

The choose stated the general impression of the report was that the slaughter of thoroughbreds in knackeries was occurring as a result of guidelines put in place by the business have been “insufficient and ineffective”.

Racehorses in a pen at an abattoir.
The 7.30 story confirmed imaginative and prescient of former racehorses being despatched to abattoirs.

The imputations alleged to have been conveyed included that Mr V’landys “callously permitted the wholesale slaughter of thoroughbred horses” and “ignored the cruelty to which thoroughbred horses have been subjected to in a Queensland abattoir”.

He additionally alleged he was depicted as being “dishonest” in asserting in an interview that no racehorses have been despatched to knackeries for slaughter in NSW, and that the regulator cared in regards to the welfare of thoroughbreds and took steps to guard their welfare.

He was the one officer of any racing regulatory physique ready to be interviewed for the investigation and expressed confidence within the business’s guidelines.

Justice Wigney stated the general impression of this system was not that Mr V’landys knew the “wholesale slaughter” of horses was occurring, however that regulators did not know what was occurring and their knowledge was inaccurate and unreliable. 

He stated a viewer would even have additionally been left with the impression that guidelines and rules to forestall wastage have been “ineffective and inadequately enforced”.

“Which will have conveyed that the regulators, together with Mr V’landys, have been considerably incompetent or ineffective,” Justice Wigney stated in his judgment.

The impression was that ineffective guidelines allowed “unscrupulous parts of the business” to “exploit the system”, the choose famous.

He stated the outcome was that regulators didn’t know in regards to the wholesale slaughters and have been “asleep on the wheel”.

“The highly effective and dramatic nature of the report, together with the stunning pictures of cruelty to former racehorses by the hands of abattoir and knackery staff, would have been deeply embarrassing and regarding for the business as a complete,” Justice Wigney stated.

Mr V’landys would even have been upset and embarrassed, the choose added. 

“It doesn’t observe, nonetheless, that he’s entitled to achieve his defamation motion.”

Mr V’landys made a declare for normal and aggravated damages, alleging the ABC and journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna acted with malice by concealing the covert footage from him.

Justice Wigney stated the proof didn’t assist any allegation of dishonesty or deceit on behalf of the ABC or Meldrum-Hanna.

In an announcement, an ABC spokesperson welcomed the choice.

“‘The Ultimate Race’ was an essential and ground-breaking investigation, forensically and rigorously reported, which uncovered the merciless therapy and depressing fates of a lot of Australia’s retired racehorses in slaughterhouses and abattoirs,” the spokesperson stated.

It had additionally resulted in “important change” together with the launch of a number of inquiries and three individuals being charged with animal cruelty offences.

Racing Victoria additionally established a $25 million thoroughbred welfare fund and a horse welfare taskforce was spearheaded by the Thoroughbred Breeders Affiliation of Australia, the spokesperson stated.


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