Hundreds of animals are advocating the destruction of the Grand National


Animal Rising activists are planning to scale the fences at Aintree Racecourse and enter the track before the start of the Grand National on Saturday.

The climate and animal rights group said around 300 activists would be at the site from 9.30am to stop the race from starting.

They also block traffic by walking slowly along Ormskirk Road, the main access road.

Spokesman Nathan McGovern said: “We plan to periodically close Ormskirk Road, the access road in front of the racecourse, to prevent access to the racecourse throughout the day.

“A group of people at the front are trying to force their way through the perimeter fences/walls at the front of Aintree in a peaceful way before the start of the Grand National.

“And all this before the race starts. If horses and horses are riding, we will not enter the road.

Merseyside Police said they have a “robust policing plan” and are working with Aintree’s owners, the Jockey Club, to prepare for any incidents.

Envoye Special, the Grand National Festival horse ridden by James King, died in the Foxhunters chase at 4pm on Thursday.

It is the 60th horse to die at Aintree in the last 23 years.

Extinction Rebellion, which changed its name to Animal Rebellion on Monday, wants to use the biggest event in Britain’s horse racing calendar to highlight the “broken relationship between humans and animals” in a bid to move away from the umbrella.

Mr McGovern said: “We need to use this to spark a national conversation about the broken relationship we have not just with horses but with all the animals we use for food, pleasure, entertainment, dogs and horses. competitions.

“In a country that loves animals, it’s a broader recognition that we don’t live up to those values ​​with our actions.”

Animal Rising’s plans for the Grand National were first revealed when a Sunday Mail reporter attended a meeting earlier this month.

They said the activists planned to use ladders and bolt cutters to breach Aintree’s perimeter fence.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police has a robust policing plan in place to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved in Aintree, as with any major public event.

“We have been working with our partners, including the Jockey Club, for several months in the run-up to this year’s festival to ensure we have all the necessary plans and processes in place to deal with any incident that may arise, and to prevent any significant or ongoing incidents. disruption to race fans, local residents and businesses.

“We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression, but public order or criminal offenses will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely.”

A spokesman for Aintree Racecourse said: “We respect the right to peaceful protest but sincerely hope that Animal Rising will consider the legality and responsibility of their proposed actions.

“Their actions can endanger the horses they are trying to protect, as well as the riders, officials and themselves.

“As you would expect, we are working closely with Merseyside Police to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment at the Grand National is protected, including all participants, human or equine.”

A British Equestrian Authority spokesman said: “While we respect everyone’s right to protest safely and lawfully, we condemn any illegal activity, particularly where it puts the safety of horses, riders, officials or fans at risk.”

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