An independent inquiry into the treatment of retired racehorses and allegations of animal cruelty at abattoirs has been announced.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement after the ABC revealed hidden-camera video taken at the Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, showing former racehorses being violently mistreated.

Ms Palaszczuk says the inquiry will be overseen by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and be headed by retired judge Terry Martin SC.

“This was deeply disturbing, horrendous footage and I was just as appalled,” the premier said of the footage.

“I know that my Minister of Agriculture along with my Minister for Racing have spoken to many racing industry figures in the last few days and they all have been deeply concerned about the allegations of animal abuse that surfaced.

“Animal welfare is everybody's responsibility and my government will not stand for cruelty to animals.

“That's why Queensland has the toughest animal cruelty laws in Australia including penalties of up to seven years jail for the most serious offences.

“But this inquiry will determine what more we can do to make sure that we can have the best possible processes in place to end cruelty to animals in Queensland.”