Animal rights activists have issued fresh calls for horseracing to be banned in Ireland after five horse fatalities at the Leopardstown Christmas festival.

The Alliance for Animal Rights group has sparked outrage amongst the multi-million dollar racing industry with their new demand.

Activists have called for the sport to be banned after five race horses suffered fatal injuries at the Leopardstown meeting, one of the biggest on the Irish calendar.

A spokeswoman for the Alliance for Animal Rights outlined their opposition to racing in an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper.


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“In Sligo two years ago, a horse collision at Cullenamore Races resulted in a horse having to be put down and two jockeys rushed to hospital. The collision occurred in front of hundreds of spectators,” said the spokeswoman.

“Laytown is remembered for the pile-up of horses in the 1990s when three horses were killed.

While these fatalities are described as ‘freakish’, ‘sad’ and ‘regrettable’, the number of injuries and deaths is rising because horses are raced and made jump.

“We are calling on the Sports and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar to instigate an investigation into horseracing accidents.

“We want an end to this animal violation based on the vast cruelty that is inherent in horseracing.”