The director of equine science and welfare with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Professor Tim Morris, is leaving the organisation as part of a restructure.
Morris will finish in his fulltime role with the authority at the end of January 2013, said chief executive Paul Bittar, who is leading the restructure.
Bittar said further work will be done with Morris in the coming weeks to embed the new structure for Veterinary Operations, combined with the authority’s role in medication control.
“Everyone who knows Tim would acknowledge that he has worked exceptionally hard on behalf of the sport as an advocate of our commitment to horse welfare, and while his departure means a re-focus, it certainly won’t impact on our commitment to equine welfare,” Bittar said.
“The ongoing review of the organisation is a difficult process as it impacts people’s roles, but we’ve got budget constraints like all other businesses within British racing, so we’re focused on identifying the most effective and efficient structure for the BHA.”
Bittar said Morris would help over the next few months to put in place the new structure “that ensures the BHA remains committed to maintaining and promoting the highest standards of equine welfare and health”.
“We are proud that British Racing is justifiably held in high regard on the subject, but we know there is no room for complacency,” Bittar added.
Morris said he was sad to be leaving his role, which had been among the most rewarding of his career to date, but was looking forward to further developing his interests beyond racing.
“Whilst helping to tackle many external welfare issues may have been the most visible part of my role, I am also deeply proud of my development of the BHA veterinary and technical teams that have enabled these issues to be dealt with.
“I am confident that equine welfare remains a priority for racing, but I am realistic about the pressures on racing’s finances, and recognise that many involved in racing have already been affected by such pressures. As in many other sectors new ways have to constantly be sought to deploy resources as effectively as possible.”