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Equine racing fatalities ‘at record low’
horse racing
Equine fatalities in racing fell to a record low of 0.18 per cent in 2015.
Figures show fatalities in 0.18 per cent of runners in 2015
 
Equine fatalities in racing fell to a record low of 0.18 per cent in 2015, according to the latest figures from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The figure was down from 0.22 per cent in 2014 and 0.28 per cent in 1994.

In a summary of key equine welfare statistics, BHA said that after careful analysis of the Cheltenham horse faller data, two fences have been moved in position for 2017.

There will be 10 racecourse veterinary surgeons and two veterinary nurses on duty on each day of Cheltenham, as well as at least three BHA regulatory vets and nine equine welfare integrity officers.

Aintree has also taken major steps to improve the safety of the course and Grand National, according to BHA. Over £1.5 million was invested in safety measures at the course ahead of the 2013 Grand National, including replacing inner frames of fences to a more forgiving, flexible plastic.

Overall British Racing has invested £32 million in veterinary research and education since 2000.

BHA has published a full summary and infographic

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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”