A DEBATE was recently held in Westminster Hall due to a petition backed by Animal Aid to discuss whether the British Horseracing Authority should be stripped of its responsibility for equine welfare.
What it really was about was an attempt to end horse racing altogether, a move which would destroy 102,500 jobs, over 3,000 of them in Yorkshire.
The level of bias and ignorance shown by certain MPs on the left was mind-boggling. How the late Robin Cook from the left was missed to give support to the knowledgeable Philip Davies from the right. Mike Hill and Chris Williamson (representing Labour) and Lisa Cameron (SNP) led the unjustified assault. Suggestions such as “jumping and racing do not come to horses naturally”, “horses are literally run into the ground: they are forced to race without having time to recover from their previous races” and “the barbaric use of the whip” – when in the latter case the modern whip is like a long, thin sponge – were inaccurate to say the least.
The 121 licensed trainers in Yorkshire and the owners of the 568 breeding racehorse mares in the county need to be aware of this threat. It would be interesting to hear if Jeremy Corbyn, as a former Shropshire resident, has views on this!