Create a new independent welfare body to protect racehorses from abuse and death

The British Horseracing Authority is responsible for race horse welfare. But around 200 horses die each year due to racing in Britain. We urge the government to set up an independent regulatory body, with horse welfare as its only interest, which will take meaningful action to stop horses dying.

105,362 Signatures

Status: Closed
Created: 5 Feb 2018, 3:14 p.m.
Daily signature rate : 557
Closed: 13 Aug 2018, 11:59 p.m.

For more information visit

Government Response

The Government does not consider that it is necessary to create a new body to protect racehorse welfare.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of jockeys and horses at races in this country. The BHA works with animal welfare organisations like the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to keep racecourses as safe as possible for horses.

According to the BHA the overall equine fatality rate in British racing has reduced by one-third in the last twenty years, from 0.3% to less than 0.2% of runners in 2017, the lowest figure on record.

Given that overall racehorse welfare is improving and fatalities at racecourses are falling, we do not see a need to set up another body responsible for racehorse welfare.
Racehorses, like all domestic and captive animals, are afforded protection under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Under this legislation, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal or for an owner, or keeper, to fail to provide for its welfare needs. Any person or organisation may initiate criminal proceedings where there is reason to believe that unnecessary suffering has been caused, or may report the matter to the police, local authority or RSPCA who will decide whether or not to institute a prosecution. The maximum penalty for an offence under the 2006 Act is a fine of £20,000 and/or six months' imprisonment.

If anyone has any concerns about the welfare of an animal or considers that its welfare has not been provided, then they should report the matter to the local authority who have powers under the 2006 Act to investigate such matters or to the RSPCA who can also investigate.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Top 10 Constituency Signatories to the Petition

Constituency Signatures % of Total Signatures MP Party-Constituency
388 0.37% Alex Chalk Conservative
343 0.33% Bob Seely Conservative
Isle of Wight
340 0.32% Sally-Ann Hart Conservative
Hastings and Rye
331 0.31% Siobhan Baillie Conservative
325 0.31% Caroline Lucas Green Party
Brighton, Pavilion
313 0.30% Mr Laurence Robertson Conservative
309 0.29% Mr Geoffrey Cox Conservative
Torridge and West Devon
296 0.28% Ms Nusrat Ghani Conservative
295 0.28% Anthony Mangnall Conservative
294 0.28% Mr Mark Harper Conservative
Forest of Dean
View All Constituency Signatures

Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

13,302 signatures - 13.0% of total

Responsive image

MPs spoken contributions during 15 Oct 2018 petition debate

Democratic Unionist Party Jim Shannon (View contribution) 49 words
Independent Chris Williamson 1327 words
Labour Mike Hill (View contribution) 3181 words Conor McGinn (View contribution) 2171 words John Spellar (View contribution) 115 words Nic Dakin 39 words
Liberal Democrat Tim Farron (View contribution) 89 words
Scottish National Party Dr Lisa Cameron (View contribution) 1600 words