Video Credit: CEN/VeganStrikeGroup
This is the moment animal rights activists jump into a theme park arena after a horse’s hind is set on fire during a children’s medieval show.
The incident took place during the ‘Raveleijn’ show in the ‘Efteling’ theme park in the town of Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands’ most beloved attraction park which is also popular with many British visitors.
Video footage shows a performer dressed as a medieval knight riding around the arena with the horse’s hind on fire.
Pictures Credit: CEN
After the knight passes, four activists from the Vegan Strike Group climb over the railing and jump into the arena.
They take off their jackets to reveal their T-shirts and protest signs demanding an end to the show.
One of the T-shirts read: “The Efteling does not respect horses.”
At the same time, a voice on a loudspeaker can be heard instructing them in Dutch, English and French to leave the arena.
The activists are met with loud boos while Efteling employees try to push the activists out of the arena.
At one point, a knight carrying two swords is seen approaching one of the activists and trying to shoulder barge them away.
In the end, the arena was evacuated and Efteling employees managed to detain all four activists.
According to an Efteling spokeswoman, they were handed over to the police and the theme park filed a criminal complaint for disturbance of public order and GBH.
The spokeswoman said: “We feel very bad about it, especially for visitors who wanted to enjoy a day out with their family.”
According to local media, many children were in tears during the disruption and subsequent evacuation.
The Vegan Strike Group said they were forced to intervene after hearing that horses are set on fire during the show.
Spokesman Peter Janssen said: “The activists protested because the Efteling had a horse performing in the Raveleijn show with a burning blanket on its back.
“However, Vegan Strike Group activists are also outraged that the Efteling still uses animals in its shows.
“Whether it is about dolphins that have to perform in small basins filled with chlorine or a horse with a burning blanket at the Netherlands’ biggest attraction park, animals should not be abused for people’s entertainment.
“Fire and animals are not a good combination. Why are we showing this to our children?”
According to the Efteling, the burning blanket does not pose a risk to horses.
The Efteling spokeswoman said that the Dutch regulatory authorities carried out an inspection a week earlier and did not detect any signs of animal abuse.