ANIMAL rights activists are calling for an outright ban on horseracing following the deaths of five horses at this year's Leopardstown festival.
The Alliance for Animal Rights group has called for an end to the sport following the deaths of the young animals at Leopardstown last week.
The horses died separately as a result of falls during the racing.
Now the animal rights group is calling for the sport to be banned.
"In Sligo two years ago, a horse collision at Cullenamore Races resulted in a horse having to be put down and two jockeys rushed to hospital. The collision occurred in front of hundreds of spectators," a spokeswoman said.
"Laytown is remembered for the pile-up of horses in the 1990s when three horses were killed. While these fatalities are described as 'freakish', 'sad' and 'regrettable', the number of injuries and deaths is rising because horses are raced and made jump," she added.
The group is calling on the Sports and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar to instigate an investigation into horseracing accidents.
"We want an end to this animal violation based on the vast cruelty that is inherent in horseracing," she said.