Five horses dead in three days is no cause for celebration

Posted on the 8th April 2000

The following statement has been issued by Animal Aid today:

The 2000 Grand National finished without any horse fatalities and, it is claimed, without serious equine injuries. But the outcome is hardly to be celebrated by the organisers of the three-day Grand National event, during which five horses perished.

The Grand National itself left most of the horses totally exhausted after the four and a half mile race. It seems that 17 fell and many would have been bruised and battered. As the first two jockeys raced to the finishing post there was liberal use of the whip.

The two-circuit race around the punishing Grand National course is ultimately about the spectacle of watching horses fall. In the old days these falls would be relished and replayed on television in slow motion. After recent tragedies, the falls are now glossed over.

Given the punishing nature of the Aintree courses and the record of horse fatalities, Animal Aid believes there is a prima facie case for prosecution under the 1911 Protection of Animals Act, a statute that is intended to protect animals from ‘unnecessary suffering’.

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