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The Epsom Derby: Animal Activists arrested ahead of the event
Surrey police have confirmed that nineteen activists were arrested on Saturday morning due to intelligence received by officers. The group known as ‘Animal Rising’ had intentions to disrupt the Epsom Derby despite a High Court injunction. The Jockey Club, owners of Epsom Downs, sought an injunction against the group after they stated their intentions to breach security at the racecourse. Despite this, Animal Rising vowed to “cancel or severely delay” the race.
‘Heavy-handedness and intimidation tactics will not prevent a national conversation about our animals’
An Animal Rising member previously told Sky News that she would do “what’s necessary”, including breaking the law, to protect animals. Following these latest arrests at least eight people were detained after their vehicle was stopped in Burgh Heath around 10:20 am; another eleven people were apprehended from addresses in Mitcham and Byfleet earlier in day.
Following these events, Animal Rights issued a statement confirming that disruptive actions could still take place during this year’s derby stating – “Police heavy-handedness and intimidation tactics will not prevent a national conversation about our animals and natural world.” They added – “It restates its commitment to protecting horses and disrupting the Derby.”
Jockey Club officials fear danger posed towards participants and racegoers
Jockey Club officials expressed concern regarding potential risks presented by protestors which could endanger participants, audience members as well as horses themselves. To date they have offered up an area near entry gates for peaceful protest though caution remains high given previous disturbances during other races such as Aintree’s Grand National which saw delays when demonstrators made it onto trackside before being removed via police intervention..
Court Injunctions Issued
The High Court’s injunction prohibits individuals from entering the racetrack or undertaking any action that may disrupt races. Those found in violation of the court order run a risk of being fined, jailed, and/or subject to contempt proceedings. Surrey police have taken a stern approach to this matter stating -“We have been clear in our approach that criminal activity will not be tolerated at the Epsom Derby Festival.”
Despite these latest developments, racing fans are sure to be eagerly anticipating another exciting event full of world-class thoroughbred horse-racing competition with plenty of high drama moments on offer.