THERE is no better evidence of why the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is failing in its whip debate than in the arguments presented by Rita Johnson and D Fillingham (Letters, October 18).

Firstly, this is not a welfare issue, but rather psychological perception. The air-cushion whips now used have been scientifically proven to cause no harm to horses and this is supported by welfare charities.

Since its introduction several years ago, there have been no reports of injuries or weal marks as a result of the whip. Animal Aid is a pressure group whose extremist nature lends well to sensationalist tabloid journalism, allowing it a platform in the media.

As it is not a charity like the RSPCA, its arguments can be misconstrued to support ideology rather than fact. It is clear that there is a lack of education and information about the issues in racing and the BHA should link up with welfare charities, vets and racing experts to provide a balanced education, possibly in schools. It has the foundation to do this, as it is the second most attended sport in the country.

G Husband, Acomb, York.