ANIMAL Aid has been inundated with messages of support and requests for information following the horrific deaths of Dooney's Gate and Ornais at the 2011 Grand National.

In its defence of this dangerous and gruelling race, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) stated that 'welfare measures' were implemented after the two horses were killed, which consisted of bypassing the two fences where dead horses lay on the other side.

The BHA also lauded jockeys for dismounting their exhausted and overheated horses at the end of the race so that the horses could be cooled down by handlers, though surely a kinder option would have been not to make them race in those conditions in the first place.

Avoiding two fences and dismounting horses at the end of the race are hardly welfare measures to boast about.

Just 19 of the 40 horses completed the course - or, to put it another way, 21 horses did not finish and two of that number were killed. Twenty horses have been killed on the Grand National course since 2000.

Measures to make the course and the fences safer have failed. The race is too crowded, too long and too difficult.

It's time to call for an end to the Grand National.

Dene Stansall, Animal Aid.