Former Minister for Sport and Civil Society (DCMS), Tracey Crouch, has joined the British racing’s Horse Welfare Board after being appointed as an independent member.
The MP for Chatham and Aylesford will join Barry Johnson, President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and past Chairman of World Horse Welfare, on the board.
The Welfare Board will oversee the promotion of animal welfare standards in horse racing, monitoring how they are perceived by the sport, the public and other audiences. In addition to this, the Board will also be tasked with developing a new welfare strategy for the horse racing industry.
Tracey Crouch MP commented: “I am thrilled to be joining the board at an important time for the sport and look forward to being able to combine both my passion in animal welfare with my interest in horseracing.”
Barry Johnson, Chair of the Horse Welfare Board, added:“I am delighted Tracey Crouch has been appointed to the Welfare Board. Her knowledge of animal welfare issues and integrity will be of enormous value to the sport.”
The Horse Welfare Board will meet for the first time in the coming weeks, with representatives from the Horsemen’s Group and the Racecourse Association. The Board is aiming to set out its thinking for the future of horse welfare in racing later this year and to make initial recommendations by the end of 2019.
The horse racing industry is set to face a number of challenges in the coming months following the closure of betting shops after Crouch’s prominent role in the controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) ruling last year.
The ruling will mean a significant drop in levy contributions, which is ultimately having an impact upon the sport.