The Government is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards and any racehorse fatality is one too many. We are in regular discussions with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), who are responsible for safety at racetracks, about how we can look at ways in which we can make horseracing safer and further reduce fatalities at tracks.
The Government considers that whilst the BHA have made improvements to the welfare of racehorses, there is still more work to be done. That is why I will be meeting with the BHA soon, and pressing them for an action plan on improving the safety at starting stalls, and safety relating to other equipment. There are strict rules around the use of whip with stiff penalties for those riders who breach them. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence for anyone to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal and this includes racehorses on racetracks.