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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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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.”