Two horses have already died on the first day of Cheltenham. Mossback lost his life after falling at around 5pm and, just 30 minutes later, Report to Base was also fatally injured. More deaths are likely to follow over the coming days, as heart attacks and fatal injuries such as broken necks, backs, and legs are commonplace on the track. Four horses died during the four-day festival in 2017.
Horses used in races are subjected to painful whipping in order to force them to run faster and jump higher than they naturally would. The stress on their bodies can lead to debilitating medical conditions, including bleeding lungs and gastric ulcers. Many are first raced when they are too young and haven’t fully developed, increasing the risk of injury and illness.
When horses get too old or stop performing well enough to be profitable, they’re often “retired” and sent to slaughter. Animal Aid estimates that around 1,000 horses from the racing industry are killed in abattoirs in Britain every year and turned into dog food or cheap meat. Others face horrific live-export journeys to Europe.
What You Can Do
Animal Aid has set up a UK Government and Parliament petition urging the government to create a new independent welfare body to protect horses from abuse and death in the racing industry. Please sign the petition and share it with your family and friends.
You can learn more about the cruelty involved in horse racing here.