PETA is attacking ITV for covering one of the most famous sporting events in the world – the Grand National,
The Grand National has been run in England since 1839 and is popular among avid racegoers and ordinary punters alike.
But PETA once again has shown how out-of-step it is with a mainstream public opinion by criticising ITV for broadcasting the event to millions of excited viewers.
Held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, millions tune in to enjoy live broadcasting of the biggest horseracing event in the world.
PETA claims that despite ITV acquiring the right to replace Channel 4 as the broadcaster of the Grand National, the channel will still be screening enormous amount of suffering and abuse.
In PETA’s world, horses die on the racetrack all the time and they claim the horseracing event is purposely designed to push animals far beyond their natural capabilities.
The charity claims that due to the long distance of the race (more than 4 miles long), horses are whipped and abused in order to push them to run faster.
As expected, there was a lot of social media debate around the issue.
Opinion_poll tweeted: “PETA “DARE” TO OPPOSE HORSE RACING MAFIA? ONLY POOR FARMERS ARE YOUR TARGETS.
Sheilah Hayden: “The Grand National is NOT a race but rather a PETA commercial in the making. These poor horses #TCMParty”
Laura: ”Think Peta have better things to worry about than activists that pop up once a year when the grand national is on.”
An ITV spokesman Grant Cunningham said: “As the television broadcaster of the Grand National Festival, along with UK racing in general, ITV takes the issue of welfare of race horses very seriously.
“We have an open dialogue with the sport’s authorities and representative bodies as well as continual contact with the key figures in racing who work closely with and care for race horses, from breeders and owners to trainers and riders. As such, we have been able to seek detailed reassurances, as well as to make our own observations, about the welfare of horses competing in the sport and the efforts and intentions of those directly responsible for their treatment and conditions.
“In relation to the Grand National, while the risk of injury to both jockeys and horses cannot be completely eliminated [as is the case with the dangers posed to participants in many other sports and leisure pursuits], we are aware that significant alterations have been made to the key elements of the Aintree course, in particular the fences, in recent years, leading to substantial improvements to animal safety. There have been no fatalities in the Grand National race since 2012.
“The Grand National is one of the most important and popular points in the annual sporting calendar and is enjoyed by millions of people either attending or via media broadcasts.
“ITV intends to bring viewers full coverage of the event and will continue its on-going contact with the organisers regarding the important issue of the treatment of race horses and safety standards.”