Page last updated at 02:59 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 03:59 UK

Rolf heckled by animal activists

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris has fronted several animal-themed television shows

A small number of animal rights activists have protested against the appearance of entertainer Rolf Harris at a Bath racecourse event.

The artist and TV presenter was due to sing some of his hits at an Aussie beach party after Friday's racing.

Seven members of Bath Animal Action heckled Mr Harris as he arrived and handed out leaflets to race-goers.

But a spokeswoman for the racecourse said there had been no disruption to the event which took place on Friday.

Animal Aid claims the host of the BBC's Animal Hospital show should not be endorsing horse racing, which they described as "ruthless and exploitative".

Racecourse manager John Williams said: "The Rolf Harris element is going to be entertainment as opposed to the sport."

Safety record

Harris, who has fronted several animal-themed TV shows, will be performing for an hour after the racing.

A Bath Animal Aid spokeswoman said: "Rolf Harris has spoken out in favour of animal welfare on numerous occasions.

"Animal Aid realises that it is difficult for him to cancel engagements, but hopes that the peaceful protest at the racecourse will highlight for Rolf - and the considerable crowd he will draw by his appearance - that racing is a ruthless and exploitative industry."

Mr Williams defended the course's safety record and said the entertainer would not be involved in the racing.

"We were quite surprised the link was made in the first place, it certainly wasn't one we thought of when we decided to put the event on."

A spokeswoman for Harris said she expected the show would go on, regardless of the protest.

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