Consultations & Regulatory Updates

If you would like to discuss any response with the British Horse Council please contact us.

Smarter regulation and the regulatory landscape

Call for evidence on what works and what could be improved across the landscape of UK regulators: closes at 11:59pm (GMT), 7 January, 2024, to understand:

  • What works well and what could be improved in how regulators operate to deliver for the sectors they serve;
  • Any further steps we can take to reform the existing stock of regulation on the UK statute book.

This call for evidence is a core part of the government’s Smarter Regulation programme of regulatory reform. Smarter regulation is about only using regulation where necessary, implementing it well, and ensuring its use is proportionate and future-proof.

 Full details

TB census

The Horse Welfare Board, in collaboration with Hartpury University, has launched the first ever thoroughbred census in Great Britain. The census aims to identify how many thoroughbreds (not involved in racing) are currently resident in the UK and to discover what activities they take part in. The Census will be open until December 2023 and aims to ensure full traceability of thoroughbreds in the UK in the future. The Census should not take more than 10 minutes to complete.

Survey    Complete survey

Precision breeding and animal welfare (Equine sector)

Determining potential impacts of Precision Breeding on Animal Welfare - AW0521   Further info

Researchers are working on a project on potential welfare assessments for animal precision breeding to support Defra in the development of secondary legislation under the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act 2023 in England.

Introducing penalty notices for animal health and welfare offences in England

Penalty notices for animal health and welfare offences in England: Consultation closed   View

This consultation has closed and a summary of responses will be published at

Charging arrangements at government-run border control posts

Closed consultation (applies to England)   View

The consultation received 149 responses, which are currently being analysed. Defra intends to publish a summary of the responses and an update on the Common User Charge proposal by the end of 2023.

A new model for imports

The Border Target Operating Model: Draft for Feedback   View guidance

The Border Target Operating Model proposes a new approach to security controls and Sanitary and Phytosanitary controls (applying to imports of live animals, germinal products etc.) at the border. It sets out how controls will be delivered through simplification, digitisation and the UK’s new Single Trade Window. The survey has now closed and we await feedback.

Welfare in Transport Official Controls Consultation

Changes to Animal Welfare in Transport Regulations: Consultation  View

Defra are currently seeking views on intended changes to legislation relating to the official controls conducted by the Competent Authority regarding animal welfare during transport. The consultation closed on 21 October 2022.

 View consultation (English)  View consultation (Welsh)

Sentencing Council

Animal cruelty: Consultation  View

The Sentencing Council is seeking to revise and update the sentencing guideline for animal cruelty, to provide fuller guidance to sentencers. The consultation closed on 1 August 2022.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Moving animals across borders inquiry  View

This inquiry scrutinised the impact of the new agreement and relationship with the EU on how animals can be moved across borders, focusing on live animal exports, equines and domestic animals. Its report and Government’s response are now published.

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill

Legislation introduced to Parliament by UK Government  View Progress

Statutory guidance for Hiring out horses licensing

Hiring out horses licensing: statutory guidance for local authorities, updated 1 February 2022    View

Animal Welfare Committee

BHC response to Animal Welfare Committee call for information on Covid-19 outbreak   BHC response

Animal Welfare

This plan sets out government’s aims and ambitions across animal welfare   View

English and Welsh Government Consultations

The are no current consultations.

Northern Ireland Government Consultations

There are no current consultations.

Scottish Government Consultations

Licensing of activities involving animals

Improving animal welfare standards (article from the Scottish Government)   Further info

This survey has closed, a summary of results will be available in due course.

Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill   View Bill