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Horse Racing: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Evans Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the British Horseracing Authority on that organisation's consultation on the rules and penalties for misuse of a whip in racing; and whether that consultation will follow Government principles for consultations.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra officials have regular discussions with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), including recently on its Horse Welfare Board’s five-year Horse Welfare Strategy “A life well-lived”. The Strategy recommends that the BHA should consult as soon as possible and ideally by October 2020 on increased penalties for whip offences. The Strategy also recommends that this consultation should gather views on future restrictions on whip use and on a possible ban. As part of ongoing regular discussions, Defra officials will be advising the BHA about how to follow Government principles for conducting consultations, and Defra will be taking a close interest in how this progresses.

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