Horse Racing: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th May 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 discussions he has had with the British Horseracing Authority on the death of the horse named Up For Review during the Grand National race.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether autopsies were carried out on racehorses Crucial Role and Up For Review after the Grand National meeting.

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

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.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses, including the Grand National. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible. However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this, including the fatalities at the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival 2019 as well at any other racetrack.

On 14 May, I am due to meet the BHA Chair and the new independent Chair of the BHA’s newly appointed Horse Welfare Board when I will again press them on what progress they are making to improve racehorse safety and what further lessons have been learned from this year’s Grand National and Cheltenham Festival.

The Government understands that the BHA carried out post-mortem examinations on all three horses which incurred fatal injuries at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

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