There is increasing controversy about the use of the whip as a performance aid in Thoroughbred horseracing and its impact on horse welfare. This paper offers a critical analysis of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) 2011 Report Responsible Regulation:A Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing. It examines the BHA’s process of consultation and use of science and public opinion research through the application of current scientific literature and legal analysis. This analysis suggests that the BHA’s findings on the welfare impact and justification for whip use are insufficiently defended by the report. These findings indicate that the report is an inadequate basis from which to draw any definitive conclusions on the impact of whips on racehorse welfare. Further review is needed, undertaken by an independent scientific body, to advance this debate.
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