The British Horseracing Board today issued the following statement on the prospect of legislation to ban hunting:
The BHB’s policy on hunting was made clear at the time of the last Private Member’s Bill in 1997 and remains unchanged. In the interests of Racing, the Board will again oppose a ban.
Working through the Countryside Alliance, as it will continue to do, the Board opposed the legislation in 1997 on the grounds that a ban would reduce the amount of Point-to-Pointing and that this in turn would damage Racing. The effect would be equally damaging today.
* A ban on hunting would reduce the number of Point-to-Point venues and meetings.
* A reduction in Point-to-Pointing would:
1. reduce the number of horses and riders reaching the standards required for participation in Racing
2. limit opportunities for owners and trainers, thus jeopardising their involvement in the sport
3. reduce the demand for young bloodstock and for racehorses at the end of their careers
* A decline in the number of owners, and thus of runners under Rules, would damage both Racing’s income from the Levy and Government revenues.
* Employment opportunities for stable staff would be reduced and the livelihood of a variety of professionals and tradesmen, predominantly in rural areas, would be damaged.
The Board re-affirms its belief that a ban on hunting would have an adverse impact on the level of interest in Racing as a whole and on employment in the Racing and breeding industries.