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Racing body reviews horse deaths at Cheltenham Festival
BHA said it will examine existing penalties for misuse of the whip.

Six horses died during this year’s event

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is reviewing the circumstances that led to the deaths of six horses at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

In a statement after the event, chief regulatory officer Jamie Stier said: “I must first express my sympathy towards to all those who will have loved and cared for the horses who suffered fatal injuries this week.

"Everyone who follows this sport does so because we love these fine animals and it is extremely sad when we lose any horse.

“The BHA will be reviewing the circumstances leading to the fatalities at the Cheltenham Festival. We will examine the evidence from the past week over the next few days before deciding how we will pursue the review.

“We continue to use research, safety measures, regulation and education to reduce fatality rates to as close to zero as possible. This is what has contributed to the overall fatality rate within British racing reducing by a third in the last 20 years, and the fatality rate in Jump racing reducing to below 0.4 per cent of runners.

“We will also be examining whether the existing penalties for misuse of the whip, and how they apply, constitute an adequate deterrent to jockeys.”

According to reports, two six-year-old horses, Mossback and Report To Base, died on the first day of the festival. Sandsend died on the final day after an injury that shattered his foreleg, while Dresden, North Hill Harvey and Some Plan all died in the final race.

Following the news, celebrities including Ricky Gervais and vets Marc Abraham and Emma Milne co-signed a letter calling for action.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.