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‘CHALLENGING the status quo’ was the title of World Horse Welfare's annual conference, held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on November 10. Giving an example in his welcome address, the charity's chairman, Barry Johnson, expressed the hope that the equine veterinary profession would be empowered to challenge trainers and cease firing, describing this as ‘a painful procedure for which there is no scientific evidence’.
A number of speakers were invited to challenge the status quo in their own sectors. Former Defra minister Jim Paice discussed whether UK horses would be better off inside the EU or out of it, while former jockey John Francombe talked about traditions in the racing industry. Sue Dyson, of the Animal Health Trust, considered the question ‘Is fat a welfare problem?’ and …