THE letter from Animal Aid (Uttoxeter Advertiser, June 22) about deaths of horses in races claims that changes are needed in the regulation of horseracing and mentions ‘abuse of the winning horse with the whip’ in the Grand National.
Horseracing carries risks, to jockeys as well as horses. Steps have, and are, being taken to reduce risks, but that is not a reason to ban the sport.
The Government has made it clear it is satisfied with the current regulation of horseracing.
The emotive description of ‘abuse’ is wrong, it was the regulator (the British Horseracing Authority) doing its job by applying its current rules on over-use of the whip, not an abuse, that bought the issue to wider public attention. It is easy to make over-simplistic comparisons, but legal and scientific review — and discussions with welfare groups — has confirmed that the controlled use of a specific cushioned whip during a horserace is VERY different to striking a domestic animal, similar to the relative indifference team athletes feel to contact on the sport field.
Animal Aid is not an animal welfare group, they are animal rights campaigners opposed to all use of animals in sport and all leisure activities; they promote a vegan lifestyle and oppose any donation to medical charities such as Cancer Research UK because they use animals.
All their comments must be seen in this context; they are entitled to their views but these are not held by the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom.
Professor Tim Morris
Director of Equine Science and Welfare
British Horseracing Authority