Michael Clayton, chairman of the British Horse Society, and British Equestrian Federation chief executive Andrew Finding are meeting up with Elliott Morley, parliamentary secretary for agriculture to seek a lifeline for the equine industry which has been seriously disrupted by the foot and mouth outbreak.
They are to appeal to Mr Morley in his capacity as part of environment minister Michael Meacher’s Rural Task Force for government support for the resumption of certain equestrian competitive events to limit financial damage to businesses.
“We believe that it is possible to run some events under controlled conditions without increasing the risk of spreading foot and mouth,” said Michael Clayton. “This would obviously exclude competitions run on agricultural land, but there is no reason why dressage and show jumping could not re-commence, as long as MAFF and Animal Health Trust guidelines are followed.
“We have come to this decision after fully examining the latest veterinary advice.”
The BHS has also issued updated guidelines for members to take account of the latest veterinary advice and has stressed that as long as disinfection procedures are carried out, riding lessons, hacking out away from livestock and visits from farriers and other essential suppliers can continue.
For more information on this story, see Horse & Hound issue dated 29 March.