Calls for stricter safety measures in advance of Aintree Grand National Festival

Tuesday, April 5, 2022    

Leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is renewing calls for stricter safety measures within the horse racing industry ahead of this week’s Aintree Grand National Festival.

The calls also come after four horses died in just four days during this year’s Cheltenham Festival in March.

Since 2000, at Aintree alone, 55 horses have died which include 13 during the Grand National itself. Across Britain in 2021 there were 200 horse fatalities.

Chris Luffingham, director of external affairs at the League, said: “Enough is enough. Animal welfare should be at the heart of horse racing and much tighter safety measures need to be implemented – the first step is to create a new independent regulatory body which focuses purely on the welfare of the horses.

“The use of the whip in the sport should be banned as it is forcing horses to go beyond what they are able to cope with and results in stress, injuries and deaths.”

The League is highlighting the numbers of horse fatalities with an advertising campaign outside Aintree Racecourse. It uses figures from the British Horseracing Authority.

Chris added: “The lives of horses are being sacrificed for ‘entertainment’ and gambling.”

The four horses destroyed as a result of racing during the Cheltenham Festival were Shallwehaveonemore, Mindsmadeup, Born Patriot, and Ginto.


Notes to Editors

Pictured: The League’s adverts outside Aintree Racecourse this week.

Aintree advert

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email

See below a link to a video highlighting the deaths of horses in the racing industry:

See below for a link to the Animal Aid website which lists all the horses that have died at the Aintree festival since 2000.

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage reserves to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

The League’s adverts outside Aintree Racecourse this week.

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