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Grand National Disruption: Social Change Lab Reports Positive Long-Term Societal Change



  • Last April, Animal Rising supporters made headlines at the start of the Grand National when they delayed the race by 15 minutes after gaining access to the track, attempting to stop the race and protect the lives of horses [1].

  • The disruption successfully began a national conversation about “our broken relationship with other animals and the natural world,” with Animal Rising calling for a plant-based food system and rewilding 

  • Research from the Social Change Lab found that regardless of how much someone knew about the protest, attitudes towards animals had improved six months after the protest occurred [2].


A report published by the Social Change Lab on (21/02/24) that focused on the short and long-term effects of disruptive animal rights protests analysed Animal Rising’s disruption of the Grand National last April. Their research found that initial negative attitudes towards the protest weakened and, essentially, disappeared six months after the protest, with the same being true of attitudes towards animals in general.


Dan Kidby, Co-Founder of Animal Rising and one of the individuals who delayed the race said:

“This research is, yet another, sign that the British public is moving in the right direction. We rightly call ourselves a nation of animal lovers and are beginning to show it. Alongside this research, we’ve also seen the Jockey Club scramble to regain credibility by changing regulations for 2024’s race. However, this is simply not enough - people across the country can see through their weak attempts at covering up the truth.”

Those surveyed actually displayed more positive attitudes towards animals in several metrics, including changing the way society treats animals for both food and entertainment, agreeing that society has a broken relationship with animals, and finding it unacceptable to use animals for entertainment. 


The report also found heightened support for implementing policy changes to protect animals, including bans on horse racing, animal testing, and factory farming, indicating that society increasingly agrees that how we treat animals needs to be changed. One possible conclusion suggests that anger over protestors and their methods were short-term effects that eventually receded. At the same time, the notion that society has a broken relationship with animals has remained and indeed strengthened.


To date, individuals have been charged in conjunction with the disruption of the race itself - with only 10 being charged in conjunction with blocking the M57 motorway and access roads to Aintree itself [3]. Ahead of 2024’s race, Animal Rising continues to call for an end to horse racing and a broader societal shift to mend our broken relationship with other animals and the natural world.


At this point, Animal Rising is not offering any further comment on whether the group will - or will not - attempt to stop this year’s race.


ENDS


Word Count: 467


High-Quality Pictures and Videos: https://show.pics.io/animal-rising-breaking-news/ 

All images and videos in this file, on our social media, and website can be used with credit to Animal Rising under ‘fair use’ for the purposes of reporting.


For more information or further comments, please contact: 

Nathan (Press Back Office): +44 1225 29 6691


Notes to Editor:


[2] https://www.socialchangelab.org/post/what-are-the-short-and-long-term-effects-of-disruptive-animal-rights-protest Animal Rising highlights that the research does not, beyond doubt, show that the Grand National protest caused the change in views. “However, it has to be stressed that the overall positive shifts could also be due to factors unrelated to Animal Rising’s actions, so it would not be justified to claim (with certainty) that Animal Rising’s protests caused this positive development, even though it is intuitive that they at least contributed.”


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