Animal Aid has launched an e-petition urging the government to set up an independent regulatory body, with horse welfare as its only interest, which will take meaningful action to stop horses dying.
Around 200 horses are killed on British racecourses each year. This number has not changed significantly over the past decade. More horses have died at the infamous Cheltenham Racecourse than any other course in Britain since we started recording horse deaths in 2007.
Additionally, even though jockeys are allowed to hit their horses seven times in a flat race and eight times in a jump race, many of them break the rules and hit their horses even more. In fact, in 2017, jockeys broke the whip rules 524 times – an increase of 11.5% on the previous year.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is supposed to be responsible for the welfare of horses used in races. Animal Aid argues that, as long as commercial horse racing is allowed to take place, the BHA’s failure to stop horses dying or prevent jockeys from abusing their horses with the whip means that it is simply not fit for purpose. Instead, responsibility for race horse welfare should be handed to a new independent body that includes experts and representatives from animal welfare groups.
Exploitation at its worst in horse racing was exposed yesterday evening (21 May) at Hexham Racecourse. Eleven year-old mare, Beyondtemptation, was forced to race for the third time in just 17 days and was subsequently...
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