SIR - Race horses are the only animals who may be beaten in public. Racing’s regulator insists that the whip is used on horses for ‘encouragement’.

The racing industry allows jockeys to hit their horses six times in a Flat race, and seven times in a Jump race. As if this was not bad enough, jockeys frequently hit their horses even more times than permitted, or in the ‘wrong place’. In fact, in the first six months of this year, there were 370 recorded breaches of the whip regulations by jockeys - the majority of which were jockeys hitting their horses even more times than already allowed.

Nothing that the racing industry has done so far has remedied the problem. This is why Animal Aid has campaigned for over 15 years for a ban on the use of the whip in racing so that whips, if they are to be carried, may only be used for reasons of safety.

It is unacceptable to hit any animal with a whip. There is no other situation when this behaviour would be tolerated towards another animal. Scientific studies have shown that that sensitivity in both horse and human skin is similar, so it is inexcusable to continue to allow the use of the whip in racing. Find out more at

Fiona Pereira, Campaign Manager, Animal Aid