Coronavirus shuts down Tasmanian racing

By: Thursday 2 April 2020

Tasmania has shut down racing as part of the state government's latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Peter Gutwein said greyhound and horse racing would stop, effective immediately, for the next month.

A statement on the Tasmanian Racing authority's website says Tasracing would work closely with the Minister for Racing on the details of a support package.

Tasracing chief executive Paul Erikson said details would be released as soon as they were finalised.

"Many industry participants will be eligible for assistance measures already announced by the Tasmanian Government and the Commonwealth over recent weeks, both to businesses and individuals," Erikson said in the statement.

He said animal welfare would be a key issue for the industry to manage during the shutdown.

"These racing animals are high-performance athletes and their care, exercising and maintenance is a 24-hour, seven days a week task," he said.

"Stopping racing does not stop this need. Lower exercise regimes which this shut down will enforce could contribute to other issues upon our return.

"It should be remembered that the cessation of racing is not just for the currently identified four-week period, it will also include an extra four to 12 weeks to get the animal back into racing condition.

"While race and trial meetings will be cancelled for at least the next four weeks, those industry participants who are essential for the welfare of racing animals will be able to continue their important work."