Animal Aid

FOREIGN SUPPORT - For the National protest

Posted 1 March 2002
Race horse with broken leg

Groups around the world are backing Animal Aid's protest against the Grand National. The following are a selection of the statements of support we have received.

Germany

"The continued running of the Grand National at the Aintree racing course in Liverpool is proof once again of the cruelties done to animals, only so that mankind can be entertained. Just like bull fighting and fox hunting, this kind of race is a relic from the Middle Ages. It should be cast into history. How can even Great Britain, which is considered a nation of animal lovers, justify such a cruel and absolutely unnecessary spectacle?"
Anita Hess, Administrative Director, Animals' Angels, Freiburg, Germany

Belgium

"It is unacceptable that a country with such a good reputation on animal rights as the UK still has a place for the Grand National. Despite the fact that the course has been adapted in recent years, horses continue to suffer injury and death. There should be no future for such a race in Britain."
Ann De Greef, director, GAIA, Brussels, Belgium

Spain

"In Spain, horses are heavily utilised, above for bull fighting and bull running. These are activities of which more than 800f Spaniards are ashamed. And they are the reason for the bad reputation we have in the world for our attitude to animals. However, Great Britain has always been the country in the vanguard - setting an example for all others by its caring and compassionate treatment of animals. It is therefore incredible that Britain still maintains traditions, such as the Grand National horse race, which seriously stains Britain's good name and reputation. We ask earnestly that this race be put to an end, because the cruelty it causes is unworthy of your country."
Mariana Sanz de Galdeano, President, Asociación Nacional para la Defensa de los Animales (ANDA), Madrid, España

"We certainly feel there is no excuse for the Grand National or for any organisation protecting this sad spectacle. Unfortunately, the main bodies in equestrian sports are nearly all guilty of supporting the huge amount of equine cruelty, by putting money before welfare and looking the other way when so many horses from their industry are sent off to slaughter. This total betrayal by the governing bodies of equine sports is not just restricted to that of the jockey clubs."
A R Bugg, Director, Socedad Española Para La Protección del los Equinos, Malaga, Spain

France

"The French are guilty for slaughtering horses in their horse abattoirs, but the British are guilty of torturing horses in their Grand National horse competition. Both are completely unnecessary causes of suffering that must end."
Ghislain Zuccolo from Protection Mondiale des Animaux de Ferme in Metz, France

Switzerland

"I fully endorse Animal Aid's statement and campaign against the Grand National horse race taking place in Liverpool on April 6th, 2002. I vehemently oppose the event and call for its immediate and permanent abolition. The fact that the "race" has led to the cruel and gruesome deaths of many of the racehorses makes a mockery of Great Britain's reputation as a nation of "animal lovers". Like the equally cruel and senseless bullfighting and rodeos, the Grand National horse racing event is not a "sport" in any sense of the word, but rather a disgrace to the nation and to people promoting and running it."
Christopher Anderegg, MD, PhD, President and Director, Swiss Action for Humans and Animals,
Zurich, Switzerland

Russia

"In Russia, people have always looked at the United Kingdom as a society of civilised individuals, which has far outstripped our own society. We cannot understand how it is possible that cruel sports such as horse races causing hundreds of horse deaths a year are tolerated in your country. Even in Russia, the draft law on animal protection forbids using animals in entertainments, in any kind of events that may cause death or injury to an animal. We do not think that the lust for cruel sights should be encouraged in this age. Even in Moscow, dog fights are banned and bullfights were forbidden this September in Moscow, owing to a mass campaign in which our organisation took part."
Mrs Tatyana Pavlova, Director, The Centre for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Moscow

"In this new millennium, it is shameful to arouse people's low passions at the expense of the suffering and death of innocent animals such as the horse. The organisers of this punishing equestrian event - the Grand National - strongly undermine the global reputation of England as a country that is humane in its relations with animals."
Lusi Beloglazova, Chairman of the Ekaterinburg Society of Protection of the Rights of Animals

Norway

"It is highly surprising that people, who like to think of themselves as civilised, find it amusing to watch horses being pushed to their physical limits with the aid of whips - an instrument of pure punishment - so that they face the risk of injury and death. To every person who knows the real nature and behaviour of these freedom-loving animals, this so-called sport is nothing but repelling."
Siri Martinsen, Leader, NOAH - for animal rights, Oslo, Norway

Italy

"The Grand National race represents a great dishonour for Great Britain because of its cruelty on the horses."
Lega Anti Vivisezione, Rome, Italy, Angela Marino

Action

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