Channel 4 TV end their 32-year coverage of horse racing with silence on horse deaths and whip beatings

Posted on the 29th December 2016

As the curtain came down on Channels 4’s coverage of horse racing over the past 32 years, there was not one word of the suffering of horses who were used for betting and entertainment on the nation’s TV screens.

During their final three-hour programme (broadcast 27 Dec 2016) the TV station gave a final 15-minute round-up of their three decades of racing coverage, which glorified the races, jockeys, owners and trainers, and a handful of high profile horses. They conveniently chose to ignore the loss of at least 6,500 race horses who died over that period as a result of racing on British racecourses.

The terrestrial broadcasting of horse racing in 2017 and in the coming years now passes to ITV. It aims to give an even higher profile to the so called ‘sport of kings’ – in reality, an industry based on ruthless horse exploitation. There is nothing on the equine horizon that gives any hope of ending or even reducing the death and abuse of race horses from within the industry, which is run by the autocratic regulator – the British Horseracing Authority. Supported by complicit television coverage and continuing apathy from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, it will allow business as usual where horses will continue to die in races and be abused by the perpetuation of the use of the whip.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘The New Year will see a concerted effort by Animal Aid to fight for horses used in racing against a tide of corporate and political indifference as ITV take the mantle for broadcasting in 2017. We will campaign to bring an end to this disgusting spectacle of equine death, mistreatment and exploitation, and strive to see it confined to the history books.’

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