Issued 4th April 2012
Grand National Warning
Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe FAACE is asking members of the general public to show compassion to racehorses and not attend or place bets on this year's Grand National.
The Merseyside based organisation also asks animal lovers to come to the, by now traditional, yearly demonstration. This takes place opposite the main entrance from 11.30 to 14.00 on Saturday 14th April, the day of the Grand National. The demo is organised by FAACE in co-operation with Animal Aid and local groups.
These requests are based on the high death toll and injuries to horses in the three-day meeting at Aintree. Last year the organizers came under fire when live TV transmitted images of two dead horses and reported on the excessive use of the whip on the winner "Ballabriggs". This bad publicity resulted in minor changes to three of the fences and restrictions on the use of the whip. However, during a trial race in December 2011 three horses fell at those altered fences. Also, the whipping ban has been watered down by the British Horseracing Association to be almost non-existent.
"Unfortunately it is to be expected that horses will come to harm and die in this year's Grand National. There is no way you can make a race like that horse-friendly and safe. The five deaths that occurred at the Cheltenham race meeting a few weeks ago proved this", says Tony Moore, Chairman of FAACE.
It is his opinion that racing can only continue because of the money involved. Thus sponsors of horse racing will be targeted from now on. First on the list is UK Retailer Matalan. "They are having a style contest on Ladies Day. While the fashionistas dress up, horses die. Between 2007 and 2010 nine horses have died on Ladies Day."
A Facebook page has been created to raise Matalan's awareness that this kind of sponsoring is not a good idea:
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