Don’t bet on cruelty

it’s that time of year again when many people make their only bet of the year- on the Grand National. 

However increasingly many people are questioning whether they should be supporting this ‘sport’.
This article in the Guardian highlights some of the issues and Animal Aid have done great work with their ‘Race Horse Death Watch‘ in highlighting the ongoing carnage in the racing industry.
I’m glad that in the last few years people have become increasingly aware of the deaths and injuries that have been occurring during the Grand National and other high profile races, such as during the Cheltenham Festival. It had certainly made many of my friends think again before having ‘a bit of a flutter’. 
Thanks to
Unfortunately the problems of cruelty within the racing industry extend beyond these shocking and very visible deaths. During my vet training I saw first hand the other issues that are hidden away.
Plenty of horses never make the grade, sometimes because of development bone and joint problems or maybe they just aren’t quick enough, these horses are likely to meet a very premature end. 
Mares are drugged to force them to breed outside of the natural breeding season, all to meet an arbitrary date so the offspring can race in a particular age range. 
People are led to believe that race horses are fact living a life of luxury but most are actually more like ‘battery horses’, walked around and around in giant exercise wheels or stuck in a stable for very long periods. Unable to express their normal behaviour of grazing they develop stereotypical behaviours, not unlike a tiger pacing in a zoo.
There will be protests going on at Aintree, outside Channel 4 and around the country. It’s not about spoiling people’s fun but it is about ensuring people are aware that by backing the Grand National they are betting on cruelty.
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