100,000 Call For Action To Save Race Horses In Campaign Backed By Ricky Gervais

The campaign was started by leading animal protection group Animal Aid
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Comdian and actor Ricky Gervais

The comedian backed the campaign (Photo: Ricky Gervais)

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for urgent action to end horse deaths in racing - meaning the issue will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are usually debated - unless the issue has been discussed recently by politicians or if there is already a debate scheduled for the near future.

This one - started by national vegan organization Animal Aid - reached the threshold as part of a campaign backed by high profile celebrities including Pamela Anderson, Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan.

Independent organization

Animal Aid's petition calls for an independent organisation to be established which would replace the British Horseracing Authority in its role as horse welfare regulator.

"The new organization would have horse welfare as its only interest. It would take concrete action to stop horses from dying in races, in addition to focusing on others areas of concern including breeding and post-career provision for horses," says the group.

"Around 200 horses die every year due to racing in Britain, and 110 have died so far in 2018. Animal Aid believes that the British Horseracing Authority has failed to take meaningful action to stop these deaths from happening."

Horses racing at the Cheltenham Festival

Animal Aid believes race horses need better protection

Horses exploited by 'callous' industry

Animal Aid Director, Isobel Hutchinson, said: "We are extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to speak out for horses who needlessly lose their lives for the sake of sport.

"The overwhelming support for this petition shows that the public are becoming increasingly outraged by the shocking death toll that racing inflicts. Time and time again, the British Horseracing Authority has failed in its duty to prevent vulnerable animals from being killed in the name of entertainment.

"It is time that the issue of race horse welfare was handed over to a body that will step in and stop the deaths. For as long as horses are exploited and used in this callous sport, the very least we can do is to stop them from losing their lives."

More than 104,000 people have signedthe petitionwhich will close at midnight tonight.