I must confess I have placed the odd bet on a horse over the years, but until yesterday I never watched the grand national. I was shocked and appalled by what I saw, fences which where obviously to dangerous and weather conditions which pushed these beautiful animals to the max. This all was nothing to the sight of two horses writhing in pain after a fall to their ultimate deaths. I have since learned that approximately 20 horses have now died on the Grand National course since 2000.
My wife and I instantly saw a double standard in the BBC’s approach to animals. In 2008 the BBC documentary ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’ resulted in the BBC pulling the popular dog show Crufts from their schedule because of a question mark over the ethics of certain dog breeders. How can it be then that the BBC see’s nothing morally wrong about showing a sport that pushes animals to breaking point and has a record of deaths that is plain to see.
Just weeks ago the BBC and newspapers like the Sun and Daily Mail provoked public outrage because of the images of the treatment of a circus elephant by it’s handler. How can it be that these same publications openly promote horse racing which has a similar abusive element in it. I can only conclude it is money that drives these double standards.
I see little point in saying any more on the subject other than while I enjoy a bet I will now only be placing them on Human sports. Personally I don’t care how brutal or ethical human sports are because those that take part have chosen to do so the same can not be said of any sport that involves animals.
Maybe more entertaining than 40 jockeys pushing fine horses to the limit would be a sport which required these same jockeys to physically run through a mine field for 4 miles. Now I wonder if the BBC would show that?