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BHA confirms scope of Cheltenham racecourse review
The review is expected to conclude in summer 2018.
Racing body to conduct review after racehorse deaths 

A review is set to examine all recent equine fatalities and long-term injuries at Cheltenham racecourse and the Cheltenham Festival, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed.

The move comes shortly after the deaths of six horses at this year’s four-day festival in March.

BHA is aiming to adopt an evidence-based approach to improving equine welfare, to reduce risks for horses, demonstrate openness and transparency and use relvant expertise to inform the review process.

The review will focus on the following areas: courses, obstacles, participant factors, starts, safety factors and race tempo, programming and race conditions, and veterinary aspects.

It will be led by Brant Dunshea, BHA’s director of integrity and regulatory operations, and co-ordinated by Emma Marley, head of racecourse operations. Relevant internal and experts will also assist the process, including organisations such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.

The review is expected to conclude in summer 2018, to allow recommendations to be implemented ahead of the 2018/19 jump season.

BHA also recently announced it would look at whether existing penalties for misuse of the whip offer an adequate deterrent for jockeys. This topic will be discussed by the board before the scope and timings are finalised.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”