AIRO board of directors met for a one-item agenda meeting on Thursday 22nd July, 2021 to discuss the issues raised in the BBC Panorama documentary aired on the previous Monday night. There was universal condemnation across the board for the abhorrent scenes witnessed during the programme.
UK authorities and HRI have indicated that they would support a full investigation into the practices shown at the abattoir and AIRO will advise members of any relevant updates. It was also noted during the meeting that Brexit has effectively removed the likelihood of any Irish based horses being exported for this purpose in the future. In relation to the microchip issue, AIRO understand that HRI together with An Gardai Siochanna have issued an investigation into this matter and again we will keep members informed with any outcomes.
Caren Walsh, AIRO director and HRI Representative received a vote of confidence at the meeting from her fellow directors. It was noted that Mrs Walsh has continually proven herself to be a loyal and committed racehorse owner, a huge advocate of horse welfare and a dedicated representative for owners at all levels.
AIRO are extremely aware of the responsibilities of owners in respect of welfare and the after racing care of horses. We are currently working on a proposal for a funding mechanism to help owners with rehoming and retraining of horses and are developing our website to include a section on aftercare to further assist them.