A number of you have written to me regarding ongoing concerns over horse welfare and racing.
This industry is already one of the most heavily scrutinised in the world. Further, whilst any injury (or worse) to a horse is a tragedy for all concerned, the percentage of such are a tiny fraction of the numbers of horses involved and thus it could be argued that with such low numbers, attempts to introduce ever more draconian regulation is really a disguised attempt at a ban on horse racing. As a Conservative, I do not believe in banning things in general.
I copy below for ease of reference some of the blog I posted last year on this subject:
As many of you will know there was a debate in Parliament on 15 October following a successful application to the Petition Committee. The petition, had over 105,000 signatures. The Government statement on this said it “does not consider that it is necessary to create a new body to protect racehorse welfare,” and outlines that “the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of jockeys and horses at races in this country.” The debate gave opportunity to challenge and question a Minister.
As a family we have been horse owners and lovers and so the debate was of interest, however I was unable to attend due to other pressing Parliamentary business. The Minister did take note of many of the points raised. It is also worth noting that the debate itself is an invaluable tool in raising awareness amongst MPs and the public around these issues. That has the effect of influencing decision-making in Government and Parliament.
I firmly believe these debates makes all interested parties take note and the BHA will no doubt review all its' procedures if only to ward off possible punitive legislation. My own view is that I am generally against banning things and over legislating. However this is a matter I can raise with Ministers when I see them.