The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has pledged to focus more closely on the welfare of horses leaving racing in reaction to the worsening economy and recent bad press surrounding the industry.

The organisation will increase its monitoring of the movement of racehorses after their racing careers have ended and liaise closely with equine welfare charities.

BHA chairman Paul Roy said: “We’re committed to operating the highest possible standards of horse welfare, whatever the state of the economy.”

He also said that this year emphasis will be put on gathering information about what happens to horses before, during and after racing careers.

“This will help us to counter some of the less accurate claims made,” he said.

Last week, the BHA made a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about an article published in the Daily Mail on 31 January entitled “Healthy foals are being killed across Britain by a crisis-hit racing industry…to end up on French dinner plates”.

The BHA stated it was “inaccurate, misleading and contained distorted information”.

• Call the World Horse Welfare advice line, tel: 01953 497238

For this story in full, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (5 March, ’09)