Horseracing (whip)

I appreciate your concern for the welfare of horses, and I share it. I understand that the British Horseracing Association, the governing and regulatory body for the sport, requires that whips used in horse racing must be used responsibly, for safety reasons and only to encourage the horse. However like you, I do have concerns on this issue.
While the current policy on this issue was drawn up in consultation with animal welfare groups including the RSPCA, I believe it needs to be reviewed and will certainly be raising this with ministers. Full details can be found on its website at
Current sanctions from the sport, using the whip indiscriminately on horses could lead to a prosecution under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, which makes it a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal. I would encourage anyone with evidence that a racehorse has suffered unnecessarily from being whipped to report it to the local authority.