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Ministry of the horse step nearer.

THE case for concentrating responsibility for equine issues in one government department has reached 10 Downing Street.

It was revealed at the BHB's forum on Thursday that Tony Blair and his senior adviser on departmental matters, Cabinet Secretary Sir Richard Wilson, are considering whether to bring the horse into a single ministry, and if so, which one.

Lord Donoughue, a junior agriculture minister, has long argued that equine matters have been left to flounder between departments, and his promotion of the recently established British Horse Industry Confederation has led to wider debate of the issue.

Donoughue said: "The Government should clarify and identify who in Whitehall has responsibility for developing the prosperity of the horse industry.

"I accept that betting should stay with the Home Office and tax matters with the Treasury, through Customs & Excise, but at the moment no-one is responsible for equine matters, unlike virtually every other country in the world, where the ministry of agriculture is usually in charge."

A DELEGATION from the BHB is to visit the Czech Republic later this month as part of an initiative backed by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The seven-strong party will meet the Czech Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners' and Breeders' Association as well as leading owners and breeders.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 15, 1999
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