National animal rights group calls on public to boycott the Cheltenham Festival

Posted on the 11th March 2019

In the lead-up to the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Animal Aid is calling for punters to boycott the Festival following an horrific death toll in 2018.

Last year’s four-day Cheltenham Festival saw seven horses die as a result of racing there. This is a shocking statistic in itself, and in the context of Cheltenham races over time, there is a wider and unresolved problem. In terms of the sheer number of victims, Cheltenham is the worst of any British racecourse with at least 105 horse deaths since 2006. This unacceptable situation can no longer continue.

Says Dene Stansall, Horse Racing Consultant:

‘This is shameful evidence, and it shows that the Racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) – the welfare regulator for race horses – are unable to stem the tide of deaths and suffering that horses endure at the notorious Gloucestershire course. They should no longer be allowed to control the fate of race horses. We call on the public to boycott this shameful event and instead back our campaign to strip the BHA of its role as welfare regulator.’

In 2018, over 105,000 people in the UK signed a government petition that was then debated in Westminster last October. The proposal is to remove the BHA from its role as welfare regulator and replace it with a truly independent body that would have horse welfare as its only remit – giving priority to the welfare of race horses and not the economic gain of racing. Animal Aid would ultimately like to see an end to the cruel and exploitative sport of horse racing, but feels that a change in regulator is a vital interim measure.

Editors’ Notes

Write to your MP asking for action on race horse welfare

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