I share your concern about the welfare of racehorses. I also understand that this issue is of particular importance due to the amount of public support for an immediate ban on the whips use in racing. It is clear that without such regulations unnecessary harm will continue for the horses.

The horse racing industry should follow high animal welfare standards and I am aware that the sport’s governing body, the British Horse racing Authority (BHA), works with organisations such as the RSPCA in order to reduce risk and improve safety for racehorses. The BHA also has a welfare code and regulations to ensure that appropriate veterinary support is available at tracks and that race courses, surfaces and obstacles are in line with safety guidelines.

As you are aware there are many different campaign groups, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Compassion in World’s Farming, that are at the heart of making changes to protect animals all over the world. I believe that we, as a party and as members of the wider society, have a moral duty to treat animals we share our planet with in a compassionate way, and as a vegetarian for over 20 years and a long-standing animal rights campaigner, I am proud that the last Labour Government had a strong record on international animal welfare.



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