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BHA Rejects Animal Rights Group Claims
A thousand horses have died on Britain's racecourses since 2007, according to animal rights organisation Animal Aid, reports theguardian.com. Some 17,500 horses competed on Britain's racecourses last year and of these approx. 6,600 (38 per cent) are estimated to have participated in jump racing. An estimated 157 horses died as a result of jump racing last year. Animal Aid claims that this equates to a one in 42 chance of a jump horse dying over the course of a year. But the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) fiercely rejected the claims, pointing out that horses raced several times a year. The BHA said this equated to 90,000 "runners" last year, of which only 0.2 per cent died. The BHA pointed out that the 1,000 deaths listed on Animal Aid's grimly named "Death Watch" should be compared with the estimated half a million runners that had competed in British races since 2007. "Racing is a sport that carries risk, and British racing is honest and open about the risks involved," explained a BHA spokesman. "British racing is very proud about the welfare standards which are required in the sport – in which we are considered world leaders – and has nothing to hide." The BHA has set up a website, thehorsecomesfirst.com, to highlight its commitment to animal welfare.