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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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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.