Horseracing: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the timescale for the review of the British Horseracing Authority's review whip sanctions; and if he will make a statement.

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 last undertook a review of the whip in 2011. The BHA policy on the whip was drawn up in consultation with animal welfare groups, such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.

Defra understands that the BHA will give further consideration to use of the whip as part of their development of an industry-wide welfare strategy.

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