The British Horse Racing Authority’s long-awaited findings on its review of the whip are published today and unfortunately, they do not appear to herald any significant improvement for the horses for whom they purport to care.
Professor Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare reiterated on BBC TV this morning a point he made in his reply to QCA in May. Horses being raced, ‘in a state of physiological and psychological excitement’, benefit from ‘sportman’s analgesia’, so the whip does not hurt them…
For another view on this important subject, we recommend visiting Animal Aid’s site – www.animalaid.org.uk. They have conducted comprehensive research on the subject.
Their response to the BHA findings is on the front page. We quote:
“The BHA was forced into the exercise because the whip’s continued use is increasingly controversial even within racing circles. The BHA has not only failed race horses by sanctioning the continued use of this brutal device, its decision also seriously damages the reputation of the industry.”
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However, the RSPCA, which was consulted, cautiously welcomes the BHA review, though they have yet to examine the detail of it.
QCA, concerned about a practice we consider to be detrimental to the welfare of horses – physiologically and psychologically excited or not – attended the RSPCA AGM in June, at which a motion asking for a ban on the whip was passed almost unanimously.
We wonder why that vote has apparently been disregarded.