An animal rights group says it plans to disrupt the British Grand National this weekend to stop “direct harm coming to the horses”.
Animal Rising believes the sport is cruel and is far too physically demanding for the horses involved.
“We’ll be coming to the Grand National because we care about horses,” spokesperson Sarah McCaffrey told Newstalk Breakfast.
“As [do] many of the people [who] go to these horse races - but, unfortunately, we’re going to be the only ones there that are stopping direct harm coming to these horses.
“This is part of a much wider campaign where we really look at our relationship to animals and we use them not only for fun but food.”
Ms McCaffrey declined to say exactly how the group would disrupt the event but invited anyone concerned about animal welfare to come along.
“We’ve got some protests planned,” she said.
“We’ve got people outside the front gates at 9.30am if you want to come along but we’ll also be stopping the races as well.”
Many people involved in horse racing care passionately about the animals in their care; however, Ms McCaffrey said far too many horses die for the sport to be allowed to continue.
“The truth is that since February in 2021, 192 horses have died on the tracks alone,” she said.
“That doesn’t even mention the training process or what happens to them after they race to exhaustion or have been retired.”
In the United States, 55,000 thoroughbred foals are registered every year but Ms McCaffrey said a world without horse racing would not mean a world without animals.
“Actually, a solution that Animal Rising are focusing on [is] the ability to rewild land that’s being used for animal agriculture,” she said.
“If we did rewild this land, we would be able to reintroduce wild horses back in Ireland and the UK which were native here originally… 92% of agricultural land is used for animal farming and if we rewilded this land, we could bring back nature into its glory.”
The Grand National is one of the most famous sporting events in the world and is sometimes watched by more than 600 million people globally.
The Grand National has been contacted for comment.
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Main image: Animal Rising disrupting a race. Picture by: Animal Rising.