Ahead of today’s Grand National at Aintree, animal welfare groups have called for an end to the “cruelty” of horse racing.
The call comes just weeks after the tragic death of a horse during Cheltenham Festival.
Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA) described the death of King’s Temptation, ridden by Bryan Carver, on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival as one of the latest “horrors” of horse racing.
“We have seen the usual platitudes from the horseracing industry but they know full well that innocent horses die every year during this event,” said Chris Fegan, CCA chief executive. “Kings Temptation was the 69th horse to die at the Cheltenham Festival since 2000 and around 200 horses die every year on British racecourses in this so-called sport. It is time to put an end to this cruelty.”
Mr Fegan’s comments come ahead of this weekend’s Grand National – an event labelled “a national disgrace” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organisation in the world.
It said that 27 horses have died as a result of racing at the Grand National meeting since 2010, with countless others suffering injuries.
“At Becher’s Brook, aptly nicknamed the ‘killer fence’, horses are slammed face-first into the ground and collided with each other, breaking necks, backs, and legs,” said PETA.
“Horses who can’t run fast enough are often discarded like used betting slips. They’re handed over to rescue charities, left to languish in fields, shot at stables, or sold for slaughter. 500 horses connected to the English racing industry are sent to the abattoir each year.
“Help spare the lives of horses like King’s Temptation by urging companies to stop sponsoring the Grand National.”
To sign PETA’s petition see: https://secure.peta.org.uk/page/78464/action/1
Picture: King’s Temptation (7) pictured leading at Cheltenham.