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Grand National Conviction: Animal Rising Supporters Found ‘Guilty’ after Motorway Blockade

Updated: Jun 8

Seven Animal Rising Supporters outside Liverpool Magistrates Court

  • Seven Animal Rising supporters have been found guilty of “wilful obstruction of a public highway” today at Liverpool Magistrates Court following a three-day trial.

  • An eighth defendant was due to be tried for the offence of stopping a vehicle on a motorway but this case was dropped on day one of the trial, 22/05/24.

  • The group closed down the M57 on 15/4/23 in protest of the Grand National, as other supporters scaled fences and entered the racecourse, delaying the race by around 15 minutes. [1]

  • They were each sentenced to pay court costs of £300 each, and received individual fines totalling £1414.

  • On 2/5/24 two Animal Rising supporters were found guilty of wilful obstruction of a public highway having blocked access to roads around Aintree racecourse on the day of the 2023 Grand National, with individual fines of £690 and £550. [2]

In the second trial relating to the disruption of the 2023 Grand National, seven Animal Rising supporters were found guilty on 24/05/24 of blocking the M57 after being stopped by police en route to the racecourse. Animal Rising has said their actions “helped shine the spotlight onto our broken relationship with animals and the natural world.”

Toby Brown, one of those convicted, said:

“This month alone, 23 horses have died on British racetracks. Our protests highlighted the cruelties of horse racing to the British public and beyond. As a nation of animal lovers, we want to see horses free from harm rather than whipped and forced to unnatural extremes, risking their deaths for profit.” [3]

He continued:

“Despite today’s verdict, the tide is turning against cruel and harmful industries like horse racing. The racing industry knows it is running out of time. There’s just no place for animal abuse as entertainment in the modern world.”

Animal Rising is a social movement to create a new relationship with all beings and give us a chance for a safe ecological future. The group primarily calls for the transition to a secure and sustainable plant-based food system, alongside a mass rewilding programme.

A still from police helicopter footage showing the seven Animal Rising supporters sat down and glued on to the M57


Word count: 349

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Notes to the Editor:



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