Grand National safety warning issued by charity

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League Against Cruel Sports pleads for people not to gamble on race saying terrible injuries and fatalities to horses is the only sure bet

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10th April 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

The League Against Cruel Sports is calling for animal lovers not to bet on the Aintree Grand National – the UK’s highest-profile horse racing event. 

Due to take place on Saturday, the annual race is something of a cultural phenomenon in the UK – with over £200 million expected to be bet by the start at 4.15pm.

The league, which is in the process of applying for charitable status in Scotland, says the organisers lack of prioritising the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys of the three-day event has led to 40 horses being killed since 2000.

It warns the race is dangerously overcrowded and jumps are still treacherous so much it will lead to “terrible injuries and fatalities” to horses.

Joe Duckworth, the charity’s chief executive said: “The welfare of the horses must be paramount and placed above profits.  

“We urge animal lovers to boycott the bookies, as the only sure bet at Aintree 2015 is exploitation in the name of sport.

“Perhaps punters could instead put their unused stakes towards charities that work to improve animal welfare!”

The League has called for a ban on the race meeting until a number of welfare improvements have been made – including a reduction in the number of riders in any race from 40 to a maximum of 30; a ban on the use of the whip; the removal of the dangerous Becher’s Brook jump; and for all drops on the landing side of fences to be removed.