Ban on the use of electric prodders on horses

Use of electric prodders on horses – an act of cruelty

From 1 August 2020, use of electric prodders on horses will be an act of cruelty under changes to the Queensland animal welfare laws to protect horses from unnecessary pain.

The changes follow recommendations made by the Inquiry into animal cruelty in the management of retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses in Queensland, also referred to as the Martin Inquiry.

In Queensland, from 1 August 2020 you must not use electric prodders on horses. This is to protect horses from unnecessary pain and the use is considered an act of cruelty.

Penalties apply to individuals and corporations found using electric prodders on horses. Read more about penalties for cruelty.

Your responsibility when handling horses

We must all protect horses from cruelty and promote good welfare outcomes.

If you own or work with horses you must find alternate ways to effectively move stock under your care. This includes horse owners, racing industry organisations, trainers, breeders, livestock transporters and others.

Moving horses without using electric prodders

Care should be taken when moving horses due to their flight nature as certain actions may cause agitation, and can lead to crowding, falling and injuries.

You may choose to:

  • use flappers, backing boards, canes with flags attached, hand, arm or body of the stock handler
  • minimise distractions that may cause a horse to baulk or turn back
  • consider the configuration of collecting areas, races and ramps to make movement easy and minimise stress.

You must not use:

  • painful procedures, including punching, kicking, tail twisting, use of nose twitches, pressure on eyes, ears or external genitalia
  • goads or other aids which cause pain and suffering, including large sticks, sticks with sharp ends, lengths of metal piping, fencing wire or heavy leather belts
  • excessive shouting or making loud noises (e.g. through the cracking of whips).

Also consider…