Horses and parakeets

The horse-racing industry has got in touch with me about welfare and safety standards at the Grand National, prompted by my parliamentary question which, as I blogged recently, the Sports Minister has refused to answer and has sent off to Defra.

Here’s their letter: Grand National reply 

I suppose it comes down to whether you see the deaths of horses during races as unfortunate accidents, or something that shouldn’t be happening at all…

I’ve also just raised with Defra, at the behest of a constituent, rumours about the proposed culling of monk parakeets, which are classed as invasive species… There’s a big list at Defra of invasive species, which are regarded as a threat to biodiversity and economic interests. There are only about 100-150 monk parakeets in the wild in this country, so I can’t really see why it’s a problem, but no doubt Defra will enlighten me. Actually, just found this Guardian article… they build big nests, that’s the problem.

I love the correction at the borttom – the original article said that the parakeets – all 100-150 of them -cost the UK economy £1.7bn a year. If that was true you could bring down entire countries with them. A parakeet army…

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