Easter Sheep Race Canceled Due To Vegan Protest

Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom has been racing sheep since 1991
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UK Sheep

The RSPCA expressed concerns the sheep are 'frightened' by the events

Online protest
from vegan activists has lead to the end of annual Easter sheep races at the
Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom in Shropshire.

Sheep races

The
establishment is host to two annual races, called the Sheep Gold Cup, and Sheep
Grand National.

Similar to
a horse or dog race, attendees would guess the winning sheep, and were given a
badge or rosette if they guessed correctly.

Since the
event's 1991 inception, sheep were made to run the race wearing toy jockeys on
their backs, and jumping over low fences.

Petition

A Facebook
group called Lambentations sparked the online protest against the races,
calling them 'cruel and unnecessary'.

The
petition launched by the group received nearly 50,000 signatures - creating enough controversy that Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom cancelled this year’s event.

Sheep Welfare

One RSPCA representative expressed concerns about the heat and a lack of drinking water

Concerning
practice

Ginny Reid
of the RSPCA expressed concerns about the use of sheep for
entertainment.

She said:
"Our main concerns are that sheep are easily frightened and exposing them
to a large number of potentially noisy people may be stressful."

She also
voiced concerns about heat, transportation, lack of drinking water, and the
methods used to make the animals run.

'Victory'

A post on the Lambentations Facebook group celebrated Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom's
decision.

It read: "VICTORY!! Lambentations has had its first
success of the year - Hoo Farm have cancelled both the Sheep Grand National and
the Sheep Gold Cup races!"