HC Deb 13 July 1989 vol 156 cc645-6W
Mr. Meale

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many criminal cases have been brought before the courts in the past three years involving drug administering for gain of thoroughbred racehorses;

(2) if he has plans to seek to restrict the administration of drugs on thoroughbred racehorses for the purpose of enhancing their potential;

(3) if he will act immediately to ban the administering of anabolic steroids on racehorses in training in the United Kingdom.

(4) if he will make it his policy to investigate fully the use of drugs on thoroughbred racehorses in the United Kingdom;

(5) if the Government have any plans to investigate the drug testing systems currently undertaken in the British thoroughbred and breeding industry;

(6) if the Government have recently monitored the drug testing systems involved in the British horseracing and breeding industry.

Mr. John Patten

[holding answer 9 June 1989]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) on 22 December at column 428. It is an offence under the Medicines (Hormone Growth Promoters) (Prohibition of Use) Regulations 1988 to administer hormone growth promoters to any horse except for specified therapeutic or zootechnical purposes.

Information on the number of criminal cases brought before the courts in the past three years involving the administration for gain of drugs to thoroughbred racehorses is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.