LAST year, the deaths of two horses in the Grand National caused a public outcry. Two days earlier, at the same Aintree meeting, another horse was killed.

Since 2000, 38 horses have been killed at the three-day Aintree meeting, with 22 dying on the Grand National course itself.

The Grand National race is hazardous, overcrowded and too long. Recent changes to the course have failed to address the inherently lethal nature of the event.

Despite a great deal of pre-race hype, a majority of those respondents who expressed a clear opinion in an NOP poll, commissioned by Animal Aid last year, said that the Grand National is cruel.

This year, Animal Aid is asking readers to support our popular Sanctuary Not Cruelty initiative, offering those who are concerned about the National a positive alternative to simply betting or boycotting.

Instead of supporting animal cruelty, we are asking people to help two specialist sanctuaries that rescue horses – including exracehorses – and that are in need of financial assistance.

Readers who wish to learn more about our Sanctuary Not Cruelty campaign can visit Animal Aid’s website at or contact Animal Aid’s office on 01732-364546 Fiona Pereira, Animal Aid.