The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced Nov. 19 that Tim Morris, DVM, PhD, director of equine science and welfare, will leave the organization in January. His departure forms part of the ongoing restructure of BHA services, led by chief executive Paul Bittar.
Earlier this month it was announced that Paul Scotney, director of integrity services, compliance, and licensing, would be leaving his full-time role with BHA in December. Morris will finish in his current full-time role with the BHA at the end of January 2013, assisting in the transition and the transfer of his responsibilities.
"Reconfiguring the BHA services and structure is an evolutionary process and further work will be done with Tim in the coming weeks to imbed the new structure for veterinary operations combined with our important role in medication control," Bittar said. "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 refocus, it certainly won't impact on our commitment to equine welfare. The ongoing review of the organization 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.
"During the next few months Tim will be working with the team 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," he continued. We are proud that British Racing is justifiably held in high regard on the subject, but we know there is no room for complacency."
Morris said, "I am sad to be leaving my role at the BHA, which has been amongst the most rewarding periods of my career to date but am looking forward to further developing my 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 recognize that many involved in racing have already been affected by such pressures," he continued. "As in many other sectors new ways have to constantly be sought to deploy resources as effectively as possible."
Morris joined the BHA in January 2008 to head the newly formed Department of Equine Science and Welfare. He is a visiting professor of welfare and science at the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, and previously spent some time in thoroughbred stud and mixed veterinary practice after qualification from the Royal Veterinary College, before returning to complete a PhD in animal reproduction.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.