Animal Aid

CHAIN EMAIL - Boycott the Grand National

Posted 1 March 2002

Be part of a peaceful protest of the Grand National. Please use the form below to send our chain email to at least 5 friends and/or colleagues.

Be part of the largest peaceful protest Aintree has ever seen!

Animal Aid's message to the World's media will be that the Grand National brings shame on Britain as a nation of animal lovers.

If you find that you can't bear to watch the horrors of the race unfold from your living room, be there on the day instead to make a stand against it.

Tickets are available for transport to the Grand National demo at £5 each. This includes transport to Aintree in Liverpool on 6th April from anywhere in the country. We will be indicating the precise meeting time and place on the ticket, or alternatively please email the office.

The following are ten reasons why you should be there. Please take two minutes to forward this email to at least five friends, family or colleagues.

1. The three-day Grand National meet is designed to push horses to their limits - and beyond. The Grand National itself is run over an extreme distance of 4.5 miles and confronts horses with a bewildering combination of 30 punishing jumps. Last year 36 out of 40 runners failed to finish the National itself. Deaths at the three day event are routine. The death toll in recent years is as follows: 2001, one; 2000, five; 1999, four; 1998, five; 1997, eight.

2. Every year, around 300 horses are raced to death in Britain. During the 1999/2000 National Hunt season (the Grand National is raced to National Hunt rules), 247 horses died. That's one in 31 of all those who raced.

3. Very few horses make it to events like the Grand National - half the 8,000 foals bred each year never even see the starter's flag before they are put down. These include the 'hot-headed', the weak, the accident-prone and the deformed.

4. Racehorses are stabled for up to 20 hours a day, causing frustration and stress. Horses are social animals who are meant to be continuously grazing and moving.

5. During a race such as the Grand National, the heartbeat of a horse can increase tenfold - leading to potential collapse and heart attack.

6. The majority of horses suffer stress-related lung haemorrhages during a race. And a veterinary study found that ulcerated stomachs were universal amongst racing horses.

7. There are strong links between fox hunting and horseracing. Many older animals take a break from racing and are made to hunt in order 'to sweeten them up'. The hunting fraternity also holds its own race meetings, known as point-to-points. Horses can 'graduate' from these to recognised racecourses such as Aintree - and take part in 'prime' events like the Martell Fox Hunters' Chase, which is staged during the three-day Grand National meet. In 1999, the British Horse Racing Board gave financial support to the campaign to preserve hunting.

8. The horseracing industry invests around £1 million each year in painful experiments that are intended to keep their investments profitable. Many of the experiments have involved infecting low-value Welsh mountain ponies with potentially lethal viruses. Symptoms suffered have included paralysis and abortion.

9. In an effort to keep injured horses racing, hundreds are subjected each year to painful surgical mutilations such as pinfiring. First used 100 years ago, this procedure involves inserting red-hot needles through the skin to burn the leg tendons.

10. 5,000 racehorses end their careers every year. Few enjoy a decent retirement. Many go into a wretched downward spiral, passed from owner to owner. Some end up as pet food, or go into the human food chain.


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