Horse Racing: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to publish information on action taken against people in breach of regulations in horse racing with regard to the use of the whip.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

Defra is keen to ensure that we uphold our high standards of animal welfare including in relation to horseracing. Irresponsible use of the whip is completely unacceptable.

The British Horseracing Association (BHA) requires that whips be used responsibly and jockeys may only use the whip within certain strict rules. The BHA policy on the whip was drawn up in consultation with animal welfare groups, such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare and is published on the BHA website. The latest rules include a threshold on the number of times the whip can be used before racing stewards can consider an inquiry. If the rules are broken, the jockey may be banned from racing for a certain number of days depending on the seriousness of the offence.

Defra is satisfied that the rules in place are sufficient to restrict and limit the use of the whip in horse racing.

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