Racehorses have better lives than some children, according to a jockey tipped to win the Grand National this weekend.
Katie Walsh, due to ride second favourite Seabass in Saturday’s meeting, was defending the race against those who label it barbaric.
Two horses, including the favourite Synchronised, died in last year's running at Aintree. Since then further welfare changes, including a new fence design, have been made.
However, Walsh believes that horse deaths should be put in perspective when compared to the fall that left Irish jockey JT McNamara paralysed at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
Walsh, whose brother Ruby will ride favourite On His Own, said: ‘Anyone who gets up on Christmas Day and mucks out loves animals. Sure, it’s a dangerous sport but every night, all over the world, a lot of horses are left out in fields starving.
‘These horses are so well looked after. Better than some children, to be honest with you.
‘I don’t read the criticism because it’s not worth it. At the end of the day it would be a lot worse if it had been two jockeys who lost their lives. I think everyone should remember that.’
In an interview with Radio Times, Walsh added: ‘I hope to God there are no accidents this year, but these things happen, and they’re horses at the end of the day.
‘I don’t mean that in a cruel way, but to see John Thomas McNamara get a horrible fall at Cheltenham… he’s gone from the neck down, and that’s a different deal altogether in my eyes.’
Claude Knights, the director of welfare charity Kidscape, told the Daily Telegraph: 'Obviously we have a duty of care to look after animals but it doesn't compare to the duty of care we have for our children.
'Racehorses, while not exploited, are still tools that are being used for commercial use.
'When children are used in the same way, on shows like the X Factor, when their emotions are seen very publicly , the consequences are not very pleasant. I don't think making comparisons help either cause.' - Mail Online
There are words used to describe people that speak in contradictions, 'politician' is one of them and 'hypocrite' is another.
Any sport involving an animal is based on greed and the fulfillment of human egos - not on the best interests of the animals. Contrary to how it may appear, waking up on Christmas morning to clean stables is not an indication of one's dedication to and love for the animals, but of one's dedication to and love of one's own perception of oneself - one's self schema. This implies that a person will do whatever they believe is appropriate to maintain the image of who they are and how they want to appear to other people. So, a person waking up on Christmas morning to clean out a stable may very well be doing it simply to feel like a good, dedicated person who loves animals - but their actions have sweet f*ck-all to do with animals.
Any person who justifies the death of an animal while performing for the entertainment and enjoyment of one or more human beings is an animal abuser and is not worthy of life, for they have no regard for it but only have regard for their own interests and self validation.
Any person who lessens the suffering or life of an animal to that of a human is an animal abuser and is not worthy of life, for they have no regard for it. Their only interest and regard is for their own beliefs and opinions of importance, not for any kind of common sense of decency.
Any person who justifies the use of an animal for commercial gain is an animal abuser and is not worthy of life, for they have no regard for it. They think only of and for themselves and have no consideration for any other being.
Unfortunately.pretty much every human being falls into this criteria and therefore animals have no chance of surviving our dreams of glory. Activism will not change this. Activism does not consider the entirety of the problem, nor that every social ill is connected - in order to prevent one evil, all must be prevented. We cannot stop animal abuse without changing the way humans value and consider the lives of others, which would influence every aspect of our lives. Activism does not address the whole picture - it offers no solution to the abuse of live that is perpetrated in every human-occupied place on Earth.
We need solutions, not conflict. We need care, not greed. We need consideration, not imposition. We need cooperation, not separation.