Animal activists still planning to 'cause disruption' at Grand National despite expose

Credit: PA Images

Animal activists say they are still planning to "cause disruption" at the Grand National - despite an undercover report exposing their plan.

Members of Animal Rising plan to form a human barricade across the course at Aintree after sneaking into the event with ladders and bolt cutters.

They were filmed by the Mail on Sunday of plotting to "ruin" the racing event, and say the uncovering of the plan will not prevent action as part of a summer of action.

More than 100 activists had signed up to take part on 15 April, with the climate group planning to take them to the racecourse in mini buses, where they claim they will then glue themselves to the course.

Orla Coghlan from Animal Rising on ITV's Good Morning Britain

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, 11 April, Orla Coghlan from Animal Rising said the group is trying to protect the horses in the race.

Orla said: "We know that every other day a horse dies in racing in the UK and since 2000, there's been over 50 horses that have died at Aintree.

"We are expecting more than 300 people outside the gates to protest."

Merseyside Police says it has "robust policing plans" in place to deal with "any incidents that may arise".

A spokesperson said: "Merseyside Police has a robust policing plan in place for Aintree, as it does for any major public event, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved.

"We have been working with our partners, including the Jockey Club, for a number of months in the build-up to this year’s festival to ensure that any necessary plans and processes are in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to racegoers and local residents and businesses.

"We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression of views, but public order or criminal offences will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly."

Thousands attend the Grand National festival over the three days. Credit: PA Images

Animal Rising says it still intends to "cause disruption" and has called on people to assemble outside the racecourse on 15 April.

The group says from that date it will conduct a large campaign of "open rescues", mass protests, and public-facing disruption "urgently addressing" what it calls the "broken relationship with other animals and the natural world".

Six activists ran on to the track before the Derby at Epsom last year, while four climate-change protesters chained themselves to the rail by the winning post on the final day of Royal Ascot in 2021.

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