SIR - I am writing in response to a recent letter from Fiona Pereira of Animal Aid, in relation to British horseracing.

In this letter the animal rights group calls upon readers to sign a petition calling for government to “step in and take action over horse deaths”

What it doesn’t point out is that the injury rate in British racing has decreased by over a third in the last 20 years as a result, meaning 99.58per cent of runners now complete their races without incurring any sort of long?term injury. There is constant investment in equine science and welfare by the British Horseracing Authority and racing industry, totalling £35 million since the year 2000. This has helped to make the sport safer for all participants, but also brings benefits for other breeds of horses in Britain.

The record of ever improving safety has been endorsed by the Government, confirming the BHA’s position as the appropriate body responsible for the safety of jockeys and horses.

Without horseracing there would be no thoroughbred racehorse. As a vet I can assure you that the care and support structures that the 14,000 horses in training receive are exemplary. Racing brings more life to the horse population than it takes away. And the quality of those lives is astonishingly high.

Simon Knapp, Clinical Director, Scott Dunn’s equine clinic