Animal rights group call for a National boycott

Animal Aid, one of the country's principal campaigning groups for animal rights, yesterday called for the media and sponsors to boycott the Grand National meeting after the four deaths on the first afternoon of the three-day Aintree Festival.

Animal Aid, one of the country's principal campaigning groups for animal rights, yesterday called for the media and sponsors to boycott the Grand National meeting after the four deaths on the first afternoon of the three-day Aintree Festival.

The same group, whose patrons include Spike Milligan and the author Richard Adams, recently launched a campaign to persuade once-a-year punters to boycott office sweeps on the National. They will also distribute leaflets outside a number of betting shops in the run-up to tomorrow's race.

In a statement, Animal Aid said that "the Grand National and associated races are immense money earners, thanks to media hype and support from high-powered sponsors. It is now time for all those responsible for promoting the event to withdraw their support. The alternative is yet more needless suffering and death."

Three of yesterday's fatalities, Strong Promise, Rossell Island and Architect, were the result of falls. The fourth horse to die, Lake Kariba, suffered a heart attack a few minutes after completing the course in the Martell Cup.

Andrew Tyler, the director of Animal Aid, said yesterday evening that he believed that "as well as the moral objection there is also a potential legal objection" to the meeting.

"There is a basic animal-protection law in this country," Tyler said, "the 1911 Protection of Animals Act. This protects animals from unnecessary suffering, and this event puts animals through unnecessary suffering, so it represents a breach of the criminal law.

"Either that act means something or it doesn't. Every year we know there is a reasonable chance that animals will die. The harm and suffering are predictable. Given the record of the three-day event, there is a prima facie case for prosecution of the organisers and participants."

Two other horses, Bounce Back and Merry Path, were injured during racing yesterday. The total of four fatalities in a single day is thought to be the worst since 10 horses died in the course of the three-day Cheltenham Festival four years ago.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones