League statement on the death of Dark Raven at the Grand National Festival as death toll mounts

Saturday, April 15, 2023

It comes after Dark Raven was destroyed after the third race today, the second death this year.

Emma Judd, head of campaigns and communications at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The tragic death of Dark Raven at the Randox Grand National Festival today – the second death in only three days – shows entertainment and gambling taking precedence over animal welfare and the lives of these horses.

“It’s time for change and for the introduction of tighter safety measures at Aintree and at racecourses across the UK.”

The death toll at the Aintree Festival has now reached 61 horses since the year 2000, with 15 deaths in the Grand National.

Four horses died at the 2022 Aintree Festival, with two horses being destroyed after the Grand National.

Emma Judd added: “One death is too many but this second death simply adds to the bleak death toll at this so-called festival in the last 23 years.

“We’re calling for a new independent regulatory body that bans the whip which pushes horses beyond what they can safely do, and has horse welfare as its number one priority.”

It follows the death of Envoye Special on the first day of the festival.


Notes to editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 07496 496454 (24hrs) or email pressoffice@league.org.uk

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