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Eight of the racing industry’s major bodies have banded together to release a code of conduct governing sales agents.

The new code has been signed by the Australian Racing Board, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia, Australian Trainers’ Association, NSW Trainers’ Association, Equine Veterinarians Australia along with the two major auction houses, William Inglis and Son and Magic Millions.

The initiative is set to make buyers’ agents more accountable and ensure the selling process is transparent.

Central to the code is the introduction of a Complaints Advisory Panel, which it is hoped will negate the need for legal action in most instances.

Thoroughbred Breeders chief executive Peter McGauran said complaints against buyers’ agents were rare but the industry wanted to maintain Australia’s high standards.

“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,” McGauran said.

The major features of the new code include:

* A stipulation that agents must act at all times in the interests of their client to the exclusion of all other interests, including their own.

* An agent must obtain a written form detailing the terms of their agreement with the client.

* They must disclose any payment or commission they receive from any other person to their client.

* An agent must not buy or acquire any interest in bloodstock for a seller who they are representing.

McGauran said it took two years for the code to be drafted and ratified and he believed it was all-encompassing.

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