Animal Rebellion protesters race the track ahead of the Epsom Derby | Animal wellbeing

Six female protesters from campaign group Animal Rebellion ran onto the track ahead of the Epsom Derby on Saturday afternoon and were kicked out by police.

Dozens of police could be seen working to clear the protesters, who were wearing belts that read “Animal Justice”.

The protest came on the 109th birthday of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison throwing herself in front of a horse on the same course.

Some onlookers cheered as protesters were led away, with a voice on a loudspeaker apologizing to onlookers.

On Thursday, other members of Animal Rebellion were arrested after entering the mall’s ceremonial route before marching in color.

The group said the protest was intended to make “a definitive statement and take action against the cruelty and damage that the horse racing industry represents.”

It describes itself as a “mass movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to call for a just and sustainable plant-based food system”.

An Animal Rebellion campaigner is arrested after racing at the racecourse on day two of the Epsom Derby. Photography: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The group calls for “an end to horse racing, to all forms of animal exploitation, and instead a transition to plant-based food and animal justice.”

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Orla Coghlan, one of those from Epsom, said: ‘Horse racing claimed the lives of 220 animals at UK racecourses last year, and that’s just the peak of the iceberg.

“In this country, more than a billion land animals are killed each year for food. Exploitation and violence against animals is fueling the climate emergency and suffering across the world.

“It is obvious that we must choose life over death and stop animal exploitation.”

Queen Anne’s daughter was there in Epsom alongside her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, who was with her husband and former rugby player Mike.

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