I have been contacted by a number of constituents following the deaths of three horses at this year’s Grand National Meeting and the three horses who were killed earlier in the year at the Cheltenham Festival.
I should say that I very much share the concerns raised over the issue of racehorse deaths and injuries. On 15th October 2018, a debate was held in Parliament, following a government petition being signed by more than 100,000 people, calling for racehorse welfare to be handed over to an independent regulator. Unfortunately, the Government made it clear that they did not agree with those who signed the e-petition on the need for a new body.
I am proud, therefore, that in last year's Autumn conference, my party passed a motion to commit to establish an independent regulatory body for horse welfare, which is separate from the British Horseracing Authority, to prevent abuse of racehorses and reduce avoidable deaths.
I wrote to David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Food and Animal Welfare, to put forward the concerns raised with me by constituents and the request to consider the case for an independent welfare regulator to take over from the British Horseracing Authority. A copy of the response I received can be viewed below.