New Thoroughbred Code of Conduct
20 July 2011
A new Australian Sales Thoroughbred Code of Conduct has been released today by the industry’s 8 major participants in order to bring greater transparency and accountability to agents acting on behalf of buyers.
In a first, the code has been signed by The Australian Racing Board, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, Magic Millions, William Inglis and Son Ltd., Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia, Australian Trainers Association, NSW Trainers Association and Equine Veterinarians Australia. The code is the strongest in the world alongside the United States’ code and introduces a Complaints Advisory Panel to which an aggrieved party can seek a resolution without having to resort to expensive and time consuming legal action.
Speaking on behalf of the signatory parties, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia CEO Peter McGauran said that the reforms would strengthen existing safeguards and generate greater confidence in the sales system.
“Complaints against agents – defined as any person representing or advising a buyer or seller at a sale – are infrequent to the point of being rare but all of us have a vital interest in maintaining confidence in the sales system and answering any criticisms however ill-informed or unjustified. We have jointly agreed on a new Code of Conduct not because of any identifiable problems, but because we want to meet and even exceed the highest standards possible expected of us by buyers and the general community,” Mr. McGauran said.
The major features of the new code are:
“The code imposes a number of specific obligations on agents in regard to disclosure as well as prohibiting payment of inducements or secret commissions. Importantly, however, the code incorporates sweeping provisions under which agents are held to the highest ethical and professional standards of their professions. We are confident that every potential wrongdoing is covered by the code which has been two years in the drafting,” Mr McGauran said.
Mr. McGauran said that a Complaints Advisory Panel would consider any allegation that an agent had breached the code with the aim of settling the dispute without recourse to legal action.
“The Panel’s responsibility is to use its best endeavours to conciliate and mediate any dispute taking into account written submissions and a conference with the complainant and respondent. If no resolution is possible, then the complainant will be advised of their legal rights and, if necessary, the conduct of the agent referred to their relevant professional association for action under their disciplinary rules. Licensed persons will be dealt with under the rules of racing.”
“I wish to thank all of the signatory parties for their commitment to reform and renewal thereby ensuring the highest practical ethical standards govern Australian Thoroughbred sales,” Mr. McGauran concluded.
For further information:
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