Push to reinstate ban on circus animals performing on Gold Coast City Council-owned properties

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ANDREW POTTS, EXCLUSIVE, Gold Coast Bulletin; September 4, 2016 3:00pm

A CITY hall cage fight is brewing over plans to revive a ban on circuses with exotic animals performing within the city. Fur is expected to fly, with councillors set to defy the recommendations of bureaucrats and vote to ban circus animals on city controlled properties, nearly four years after such a ban was lifted.

A petition calling for the ban will go before the Community and Cultural Development committee on Thursday with council officers recommending that “no action be taken”. But committee head Bob La Castra said the advice was unacceptable and that he could not stand by and do nothing while animals “suffered”.

He urged ratepayers across the city to put pen to paper and lobby their elected representatives before Thursday’s vote.

Cr Bob La Castra is leading the charge to reinstate a ban on circus animals performing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jerad Williams

“The views of those who believe this to be still acceptable are totally out of line and dated,” he said. “This should not be happening in our own backyard and we need those people who feel strongly about this to make their feelings known, so write to your councillors, speak out about it and fight this barbarity.

“By allowing these circuses on our land we are complicit in what they are doing and banning them would send a message that what they are doing is not right and that we are taking a stand.”

Police and Animal Rights campaigners outside Gold Coast Council Chambers protesting against the circus. Photo by Richard Gosling

If the ban is successful, circuses with exotic animals would still be allowed to perform on private property. A ban was first put into place in 2009 by the council with the backing of then-Mayor Ron Clarke. It was lifted in a January 2013 decision by the council in which Mayor Tom Tate used his casting vote to break a deadlock tie.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands councillors on each sides of the argument are running the numbers to determine if the ban could potentially pass.

Both sides concede a vote could go either way.

But Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow, an ardent supporter of circuses, said she would fight the ban tooth and nail and declared the opposing argument to be “crap”.

Cr Dawn Crichlow with Massai the Lion. Pic Jono Searle.

“The kids want the circuses and I will fight all the way because it is a matter which is close to my heart and those of many others,” she said. “I am sick of the noisy minority coming up with all this crap. “I cannot believe this women condones & thinks it’s ok for children to see abused & tortured animals, just for their pleasure….condoning this just lets kids think that it is ok to be cruel to animals for the sake of entertainment????   By allowing circuses to carry on using animals is agreeing with the torturous training these poor young animals have to endure. Would it be ok to watch a double human act if you knew that one-half of the act was constantly being physically abused & tortured; just for entertainment???? NO, I DON’T THINK SO!!! ANYONE THAT DOES THINK ITS OK…WELL, I THINK THEY NEED TO BE SEEKING PROFESSIONAL  HELP”

RSCPA chief executive Mark Townend called on the council to “move with the times” and end the mistreatment of exotic animals.

“I would hope the council gets into 2016 thinking because realistically circus animals are very 1970s,” he said. “There are great circus which do not put animals through these ridiculous things which are not in their natural behaviour. “I appeal to the council to move with the times because we can have a successful circus without putting animals through such treachery.”

The petition calling for the ban to be reinstated was submitted to the council in March by then-Robina councillor Jan Grew in the final act of her 22 year political career.

More than 45 councils across Australia have exotic animal bans in place. Both City of Melbourne and Penrith both voted to introduce their own boycotts this year. Protesters are expected to attend Thursday’s council committee meeting and security will be on hand.

News Link: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/push-on-to-reinstate-ban-on-circus-animals-performing-on-gold-coast-city-councilowned-properties/news-story/977c58756cfc65467f2269bf8bac94f3

“See how animals are really trained to perform for your entertainment!! Then ask yourself; is this fair on the animals? Do you enjoy knowing they have been hurt for you entertainment????”

“The Circus, where animals are miserable & go insane; confined to metal cages when not being abused & are trained through fear; fear of being whipped, hit with objects, tied by the neck i.e tortured, etc. etc.”

(Anyone who condones this…will be classed as an animal abuser through my eyes)

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GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

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It is with very heavy hearts that we at PAWS share news of the passing of our dear friend, Asian elephant Annie – best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of our Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured severe arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. After it became clear that the medications and treatments used to treat her chronic conditions were no longer providing relief, she was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, while lying on soft soil and surrounded by those who cared for and loved her. At age 55, she was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

“Everyone at PAWS will miss Annie. She was a very special elephant,” said PAWS president Ed Stewart. “I’m proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved.”

Annie was born in Assam, India, around 1960, and taken from her mother at a very early age for use in the zoo industry. She was immediately put on display in a zoo in Wisconsin, where she spent much of her life chained to a concrete floor.

In 1994, the nation was shocked by videos showing Annie and her companion Tammy being cruelly trained. While held by ropes and chains handlers “broke” the elephants, mercilessly beating them into submission. This was no undercover video; the zoo recorded the training session as instruction for other keepers. (This footage was included in the 2013 HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” narrated by actress and comedienne – and friend of PAWS – Lily Tomlin.) Under public pressure, the zoo opted to relocate the elephants to PAWS.

Annie arrived at PAWS in 1995, rescued from the Wisconsin zoo with Tammy, who passed away in 2003 at age 52 from chronic foot disease and arthritis – the leading causes of death for elephants in captivity. Despite their great intelligence and size, in captivity elephants are forced to live in small, barren enclosures that cause a multitude of physical and psychological harms. Their social, physical and psychological complexities may make them one of the most deprived of all captive wild animals.

Annie keeps cool in the lake, provided for all the animals; this is as free as any captive animal can be, pure heaven for all!

Annie’s life at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary was far closer to what elephants naturally need. She had a sprawling habitat in which to roam, elephant companions, soft grass to lie down and nap on, and a lake in which she loved to bob, splash and swim. It was always a joy to see Annie enjoying her habitat – something we often shared with you on our Facebook page and on Youtube.

Over the years, Annie experienced a variety of health problems, including an injury caused by a bull elephant during forced mating. Her arthritis and foot problems had progressed, including a severe foot abscess. In 2012, Annie tested positive for tuberculosis, but never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Her general condition remained good, including normal appetite and weight, but Annie’s arthritis and foot disease ultimately made movement unbearably painful for her. Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in many elephants used for circuses and to give rides, and in zoos such as the Oregon Zoo and St. Louis Zoo.

It is a sad fact that by the time most elephants come to PAWS they are suffering the debilitating effects of a life spent in inadequate captive conditions. Annie was no exception. Had she remained in her native home, she likely would have been leading a full and enriched life today, surrounded by a family of her own.

“Our job at PAWS is to restore dignity to captive elephants and, for elephants like Annie and Tammy, give them a life free from beatings and chains,” explained Ed. “We did our best for them, and continue to make a significant difference in the lives of all the elephants and other wild animals under our care.”

As is customary for all elephants that pass away at PAWS, a necropsy is being performed on Annie’s remains by pathologists from U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and tissue samples sent to a laboratory.

PAWS thanks everyone who has ever cared about and supported Annie and helped give her – and all of the wild animals at PAWS – a life of dignity, serenity, and love. On behalf of Annie and everyone at PAWS, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
“This next video shows pure brute strength by keepers to make Annie lay down. Watch closely & see how the bull hook is gouged into her skin to make her first lay down, then stand; Annie cries out in pain as she is manhandled, she could easily have harmed her trainers, but she didn’t. Now, listen very closely as the keepers talk about how to get her to lay down, near a diagram, around 5.29..(I can hear what sounds like an electrical shock prod) …I bet they were using it on Annie…vile acts of cruelty; just for the publics entertainment!! Annie must have thought she was in heaven when she was moved to PAWS; she finally had some freedom to behave like an elephant should, larking about in the lake & making friends with other free elephants,. I’m so grateful to PAWS for giving Annie her freedom & final home, her final resting place of peace, tranquility & compassion…God bless her soul!”

1989: Zoo training tape of Annie.

Warning: Contains graphic images that are hard to watch.

Uploaded on 5 Oct 2011

Asian elephant Annie, and her close companion Tamara, shared an elephant barn/enclosure at the Milwaukee Zoo until 1994, when videotaped recordings of cruel beatings and abusive training elicited public demands that the two elephants be sent to the PAWS sanctuary. Today Annie (Tamara died in 2002) spends her days roaming and grazing among the trees, swimming in the lake, dusting and mud-bathing before lying down to sleep on a sunny hillside.

The archaic management of elephants by zoos that have been using the Free Contact system, has been the focus of controversy between AZA and animal welfare organizations, as well as many zoo professionals who advocate the use of Protected Contact management, a safer and kinder approach to elephant management.

Free Contact allows elephant keepers and handlers to share the same space with the elephant while using the cruel weapon known as the bullhook, the ankus, or the “guide”, to control the animal and to protect the handler. This system has caused injury and death to keepers and considerable suffering to elephants. Protected Contact requires that keepers work with the animal behind barriers and eliminates the use of any weapon or punishment for the elephant. It is a system that ensures the safety of the keeper and the welfare and comfort of the elephant.

In August of this year, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) board of directors has approved new standards that will maximize occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified facilities. The recent release of this new policy by AZA is a giant first step toward maximizing the physical and psychological health of the elephants as well.

The Elephant Manager’s Association opposes these new standards. In a recent statement, EMA wrote: “It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance.”

PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606

www.pawsweb.org

 “TORTURE CHAMBER…JUST THINK ON, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN A CIRCUS OR EVEN A ZOO…THIS IS HOW THEY WERE FIRST SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS IN THE WILD; THEN TORTURED, SO THEY WOULD ACCEPT THE COMMANDS OF HUMANS; FOR THE SOUL PURPOSE OF ENTERTAINING HUMANS…HORRIFIC!!”

 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED…BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW ELEPHANTS SPIRITS ARE BROKEN SO HUMANS CAN USE THEM…PLEASE WATCH!!

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

Edwin Wiek of the WFFT and Khun Lek (Sangduan Chailert) of ENP are now targeted by the DNP for speaking up about the illegal wild elephant poaching and trade. This video shows what the DNP doesn’t want you to see or know about!

R.I.P: In Memoriam: Dr. Mel Richardson

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Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Senior Attorney on January 6, 2014

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a dear friend of the animals and of ALDF.  Dr. Mel Richardson, affectionately known as Dr. Mel to his friends and colleagues, passed away on January 2 at the age of 63.

With more than 40 years of veterinary experience, Dr. Mel was a tireless advocate for captive wild animals.

Mel during filming of Lion Ark. He will be sadly missed. — with Mel Richardson. Animal Defenders International

Picture from; Facebook Save All Elephants:-https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152543127764358&set=a.10152543127689358.1073741832.75101244357&type=1&theater

I first met Mel at an elephant summit at the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary about four years ago. I was immediately charmed by his laid-back demeanor, his sense of humour, his discernable kindness, and, of course, his Georgian accent. Dr. Mel quickly became an important part of ALDF’s work on behalf of captive wildlife. He was the expert witness in our lawsuit against the City of Seattle concerning the inhumane captivity of elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo, where Mel was once a zookeeper.

Dr. Mel was the veterinarian in charge of transporting Ben the bear from a tiny, barren concrete cage to a spacious, naturalistic enclosure at the PAWS sanctuary after a lawsuit filed by ALDF and PETA freed Ben from the roadside zoo in North Carolina that held him captive.

Most recently, Mel wrote a comment letter on behalf of ALDF concerning the cruel captivity otwo elephants at the Niabi Zoo in Illinois, who were ultimately transferred to better conditions (albeit, at another zoo).

He was also a regular consultant for us on all sorts captive wildlife cases, and the phrase “Let’s call Dr. Mel and ask him” was uttered frequently at our litigation meetings. These are just a few examples of Mel’s work, and he did much more for many other organizations. His primary allegiance was to the animals and he was happy to help anyone at any time.

We will miss Dr. Mel greatly, not only as a colleague and a consultant, but as a friend. He died too soon, but he left a wonderful legacy that will continue to inspire us to fight for freedom for animals.

News Link:-http://aldf.org/blog/in-memoriam-dr-mel-richardson/

Video: Schoep Passes Away

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“Sorry, I’ve been away for several days due to ongoing health problems! I did posts as & when I could, but could never finish them in their entirety, due to pain!! So many posts are not in the date order they should be, & it’s going to get worse, before it get’s better, hence several posts at once! For new followers, please bear with me, I’m waiting on having a morphine pump fitted, to ease my pain; which should enable me to post daily again…fingers crossed!! So please excuse any mistakes, pain affects my ability to notice errors, due to lack of concentration etc.!!”

“It was with great sadness that I came back, to find out Schoep had passed away; even though I didn’t know them personally, his passing, broke my heart! He was indeed a special dog with my kind of very special owner, prepared to do anything to help ease his best friends pain. I followed his story when I first saw a video of John in the water with Schoep; floating, asleep in Johns arms! I hope John finds peace in the knowledge that Schoep’s legacy can help many more dogs & that Schoep is now at peace; due to Johns special care! R.I.P dear Schoep, you will surely be missed by many. But now you can run, free from pain, through the tall grass, jump fallen trees & swim in crystal clear waters; just over Rainbow Bridge”!

Only a month ago we celebrated Schoep’s twentieth birthday. Sadly on Wednesday Schoep passed away.

Schoep enjoying the sunshine

Schoep became an internet sensation when a picture of his owner soothing his arthritis in a lake went viral.

Over 187,000 people follow Schoep and John on their Facebook page, captivated by the love the two had for each other.

On Thursday John posted “I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath…Schoep passed yesterday.”

Schoep and John’s story has had a significant impact on many. When the picture and their story went viral donations started pouring in from all over the world.

More than enough money came in to give Schoep the best possible care for his arthritis.

John and Schoep’s veterinarian, Erik Haukass, decided to use the rest of the money to help others. They created Schoep’s Legacy Foundation.

The foundation’s goal is to help low-income families care for their animals. To date the foundation has raised over $25,000.

“It could help another 30 or 40 Schoeps,” said Haukass.

The Image that captured the hearts of many, which I saved to my pc when I first saw the video!  John Hunger taking Schoep swimming to ease his pain! R.I.P

Schoep will be missed by his many fans, and most importantly by John, his best friend of 20 years.

News Link:-http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/07/schoep-passes-away/

Schoep, The Dog Whose Internet Photo Touched Millions, Dies :(((((((

 

Published on 19 Jul 2013

The world is mourning with a man who lost his dog Wednesday.

John Unger and his elderly dog, Schoep, became Internet celebrities last summer because of Bayfield, Wis., photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson’s photograph of the pair in the waters of Lake Superior. Unger took Schoep into the lake regularly to ease the discomfort of the dog’s arthritis.

People from Texas to Japan to Slovakia gave money to help pay Schoep’s veterinary bills, medications and laser treatments.
It gave the faithful companions another year together.
Schoep turned 20 on June 15. He died 26 days later. On Thursday, a photo of a paw print in the sand was posted on the Official Fan Page of Schoep and John on Facebook.

Read More:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSkXH82r2kE

Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty After Neglected Dog Found Abandoned

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“WTF…another pair of cruel, cold hearted bxxxxxd’s; who just couldn’t be bothered anymore with their dog! It’s so cruel to leave an animal suffering, but to then toss them out like rubbish, to fend for themselves; is an unbelievably cruel & callous act! This pair both deserve jail, banned from owning animals for life & have to pay all vets fee’s incurred, whilst trying to save poor Lilly…R.I.P sweet girl, you were taken too soon, but now you can run forever, free from pain or harm & in peace; just over Rainbow’s Bridge XXX

OLD TOWN, Maine — A former Hudson couple was summoned Wednesday in connection with what Old Town police Officer Deborah Holmes called perhaps the worst case of neglect she has encountered in her 26 years in law enforcement.

Charged with animal cruelty were Jerry Thomas, 53, and his 55-year-old wife, Kathy Thomas, Holmes said.

Lily, a 5-year-old German shepherd, was found Saturday on Bennoch Road in Old Town, where her owners allegedly abandoned her. The dog was euthanized on Wednesday, after staff members of Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Brewer, who had been providing medical care for her, discovered she was full of cancer. Her owners have been charged with animal cruelty. R.I.P sweet girl x

She was in really rough shape,” Holmes said about Lily, the 5-year-old German shepherd the couple allegedly abandoned early Saturday morning in the pouring rain off a turnaround along Bennoch Road.

“She had little to no hair on her back and legs and she was covered in bugs. Her skin was leathery,” Holmes said Wednesday. The officer said that the dog also was thin and had infected ears. Ticks were embedded around its neck and nails, which were so long they were curled under.

Holmes said Lily was “very skittish.” Holmes said she had a witness stay with the dog while she went to a nearby convenience store to get a breakfast sandwich that she then tried to use to coax Lily into her vehicle.

“She wasn’t having any of that,” said Holmes. The dog, however, eventually developed the confidence to go with Holmes after Holmes put her on a lead. She took Lily to Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Brewer, where the staff bathed her, groomed her and gave her medication.

The witness was able to provide the license plate number of the dark-colored truck seen near where the dog was found and Holmes used it to trace the couple to their former home in Hudson, where their former landlord confirmed they had owned a German shepherd. Holmes eventually traced the couple to the Ranger Inn in Bangor where they had been staying.

Holmes contacted the pair and on Wednesday, they came to the Old Town Police Department, where both were charged with animal cruelty.

Jerry Thomas initially denied having left the dog, saying that he had pulled over along Bennoch Road to relieve himself. He then allegedly told the officer he accepted full responsibility for the incident, but Holmes said she decided to charge both of the Thomases because Lily’s condition appeared to be the result of long-term neglect and “there is no way [Kathy Thomas] could have come home every night and not seen it.”

Holmes said that the couple eventually told her they no longer were able to care for the dog.

On Wednesday, staff at the veterinary clinic found cancer throughout Lily’s body and euthanized her, Holmes said.

“I was really hoping for a different outcome,” Holmes said, adding that several people who had learned of Lily’s plight on the Old Town Police Department’s Facebook page had offered to adopt her.

Holmes said the couple is scheduled to appear at the Penobscot Judicial Center on July 18 to respond to the charges.

News Link:http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/12/news/bangor/couple-charged-with-animal-cruelty-after-neglected-dog-found-abandoned-in-old-town/

Grand National meeting: Another Death – Little Josh suffers fatal fall at Aintree

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“OMG…I FXXXXXG HATE THIS BLOOD SPORT….As a horse owner & lover for over 40 years; this just breaks my heart! TWO dead already, what is the Grand National going to be like…please pray all the horses get round the course safely; and go home safely, not dying of heart attacks or burst arteries after the race. R.I.P Little Josh x”

The Grand National meeting at Aintree suffered its second fatality today as the Little Josh, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, had to be put down after fracturing his shoulder.

The news comes after the meeting’s first casualty yesterday, when Battlefront suffered a suspected heart attack after being pulled up in the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase.

It is a further blow for Aintree officials after the course revamp before the meeting.

Carnage: Runners and riders are left strewn across the Aintree turf during the Fox Hunters’ Chase

Fox Hunters’ Chase In which Battlefront died of a heart attack after being pulled up

Aintree has revamped the course fences to make them safer for competing horses after criticism of the meeting’s Saturday showpiece branding it dangerous after seeing two fatalities – According to Pete and Synchronised – in last year’s National.

John Baker, Aintree and North West Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, expressed his sympathies but defended the sport.

Tragic: Battlefront, ridden by Katy Walsh (left), suffered a suspected heart attack after being pulled up   Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2304605/Little-Josh-dies-Grand-National-meeting-day-one.html#ixzz2PbVjpAQs  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Tragic: Battlefront, ridden by Katy Walsh (left), suffered a suspected heart attack after being pulled up

‘British racing is very open that you can never eliminate all risk from horse racing, as with any sport.

However, welfare standards are very high and equine fatalities are rare.

‘With 90,000 runners each year, we have a fatality rate of just 0.2 per cent.’

Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, described the carnage at Aintree as ‘utterly depressing’.

He said: ‘The Aintree authorities and the British Horse Racing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course.”

Notorious: Bechers' Brook (above) has claimed many casualties in the past  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2304605/Little-Josh-dies-Grand-National-meeting-day-one.html#ixzz2PbWKrpRW  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Notorious: Bechers’ Brook (above) has claimed many casualties in the past

“But today’s Fox Hunters’ Chase, (4/4/2013) in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish Several horses fell or were pulled up, tired and potentially injured.”

“It was both utterly depressing and served as confirmation that the Aintree authorities have got it badly wrong once again.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2304605/Little-Josh-dies-Grand-National-meeting-day-one.html#ixzz2PbTQTT81
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

“Please sign the petitions in the following related posts related articles…this race has to stop or at the very least, the jumps much smaller & a shorter distance to run!”

BATTLEFRONT DIES ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE GRAND NATIONAL MEETING

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“OMG…the dreaded day is ahead…& it’s started already, one horse dead, although that was through a heart attack, so one has to question, why was he racing in the first place? was it just about MONEY!!!”

“Please if you love animals, especially horses, don’t back on the cruelty! These horses may well be very well cared for but at what cost? their life, in one race! I am dreading the Grand National & would ask everyone to pray that all horses finish the course & get to go home without any incident!”

“The spokes people at the Grand National have to mention a horse that has gone down, because it’s live TV. But you don’t hear them mentioning the ones that have gone back to their stables & died of heart attacks like Battlfront R.I.P or other horses who have burst pulmonary arteries etc.” 

The Grand National course, which has undergone what have been described as major safety improvements, claimed an equine victim today (4 April), when 11-year-old Battlefront collapsed and died with a suspected heart attack.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/04/04/article-2304044-1917423A000005DC-297_634x371.jpg

He was being ridden by Katie Walsh, who earlier this week triggered controversy when she seemed to trivialise the deaths of horses on racecourses (‘these things happen, and they’re horses at the end of the day’), and claimed that race horses are looked after ‘better than some children’.

Battlefront had been racing in the 3.40 Foxhunters’ Chase, which is run over 18 fences on the Grand National course. Walsh pulled him up when he appeared to become distressed after jumping the challenging Valentine’s Brook.

He had been carrying an exceptionally heavy weight of 12 stone. Twenty-three other horses were entered into the 2m 5f event. It has been reported that four of them fell, another was brought down, several were pulled up and just 14 of the 24 finished.

Battlefront is the 23rd horse to have died on the Grand National course since 2000 – eleven of them having perished in the big race itself.

report published by Animal Aid last month identified Aintree as the country’s most lethal racecourse for horses when deaths are calculated in relation to the number of days’ racing.

Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:

‘The Aintree authorities and the British Horseracing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course. But today’s Foxhunters’ Chase, in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish. Several horses fell or were pulled up, tired and potentially injured. It was both utterly depressing and served as confirmation that the Aintree authorities have got it badly wrong once again.’

For more information:Contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.

News Link:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse//2860//

The Grand National meeting at Aintree suffered its first fatality on day one this afternoon as Battlefront collapsed and died after the 3.40 John Smith’s Fox Hunters‘ Chase.

The horse, ridden by Katie Walsh, was pulled up at the 11th fence of the 2m 5f chase, which was won by 100/1 long shot Tartan Snow.

Unfortunately 11-year-old Battlefront, trained by the jockey’s father Ted, then suffered a suspected heart attack on the way back to the stables and died.

Professor Chris Proudman, veterinary advisor to Aintree Racecourse, confirmed the news, saying: ‘We can confirm that Battlefront was pulled up at fence 11 of the John Smith’s Fox Hunter’s Chase on the Grand National course by his jockey Katie Walsh and sadly afterwards he collapsed and died.

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2304044/Battlefront-dies-Grand-National-meeting-day-one.html#ixzz2PVz6zhvu

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Changes to the fence course:- WHW…Video

Working towards a safer Grand National


Published on 4 Apr 2013

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, discusses the changes being made by Aintree Racecourse to the Grand National 2013 fences and course, including the new fence cores. 

Find out more about World Horse Welfare’s work with sport regulators; http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/sport

Just a few of the many petitions to sign:-

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