Animal Aid

GRAND NATIONAL - BBC CONDEMNED

Posted 6 April 2002
An Animal Aid 'jockey' protests outside Aintree

BBC's coverage of the Grand National condemned as a new hurdle to animal welfare

Animal Aid condemns the Grand National 2002, which resulted in more mayhem and injury with only 11 out of 40 finishing the race.

We condemn also the failure of Aintree and the BBC to communicate clearly and promptly news of the fate of The Last Fling and Manx Magic who, as unconfirmed reports following the race suggest, suffered injuries and were shot. This brings the total number of fatalities during the 2002 Aintree meet to four - and to 27 since 1997.

The group asks: is this the BBC 'working' with the racing authorities to play down or conceal horrendous injuries, trauma and death at Aintree?

With so many fallers, the long term health and welfare of other injured horses remains uncertain and seems unlikely to be reported.

Animal Aid organised a demonstration attended by hundreds of protestors which was unreasonably hemmed in by police. But protestors who had the support of 'One Foot in the Grave' star, Richard Wilson, and comedian/actor, Alan Davies still succeeded in registering their opposition to the sick Aintree spectacle.

The BBC's constitutional obligations to transparent and unbiased journalism along with the Jockey Club's newly stated policy of openness were big losers at Aintree today.

See Horse Racing Awareness Week for the full background.

Notes to Editors

  • More information from Andrew Tyler or Elaine Toland on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.

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