IN a bid to maintain integrity, Racing NSW will proceed with the licensing of veterinarians.

The vets involved in the Sam Kavanagh cobalt case have either refused to give evidence or provided false information, and Racing NSW stewards have been able to do little as none of them are ­licensed and governed by ­industry rules.

However, a Racing NSW statement on Wednesday was more ­focused on the actions of Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA), which it claims “continues to scaremonger in respect of Racing NSW’s licensing of vets with outrageous claims that lack credibility”.

“It is totally absurd to assert that vets would be prevented from speaking out on the welfare of horses given that the health and welfare of horse and human is paramount,” the statement said.

‘‘In fact, the most likely reason that a vet would be the subject of an investigation by Racing NSW is that the vet’s actions have endangered the health or welfare of a horse.

“A vet’s licence will not be suspended or revoked unless it has been found that there has been a serious breach of the Rules of Racing …’’

Vets will be able to appeal against a decision by stewards that will be heard at an independent tribunal. Appeals before this panel are a completely new hearing of any matter.

There is also a right of appeal from the panel to the Racing Appeals Tribunal, which is an independent government tribunal at which hearings are held before a person with the status of a District Court judge.

“Racing NSW’s purpose in licensing veterinarians is consistent with its statutory role directed at the control and regulation of racing, especially in relation to integrity and maintaining public confidence in the industry,” the statement said.

The new licensing laws came into effect on Wednesday.