Animal rights groups claim victory after Taylor Swift pulls out of horse racing performance

Valheria Rocha

In November, Taylor Swift was planning to perform at Australia’s Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s most famous horse races.  Now she’s dropped out of the event — and animal rights groups have claimed victory.

Since the performance had been announced, animal rights groups had petitioned her to pull out, citing the fact that six horses have died at the Melbourne Coup since 2013. At last year’s race, a horse had to be euthanized after fracturing his shoulder.

In particular, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses started a social media campaign using the hashtag #NupToTheCup and started an online petition, which was signed by more than 6500 people.

According to the U.K. paper The Guardian, organizers said Saturday that Taylor couldn’t appear at the race, which was to have been her own Australian performance this year, because “changes” to her “Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here.”

There was absolutely no mention of the animal rights issue, but it didn’t stop the Coalition from taking credit.

The Coalition wrote on Facebook, “THANK YOU TAYLOR! Today it was announced…that Taylor Swift has CANCELLED her controversial performance at the Melbourne Cup. We are absolutely delighted with the news. The pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant. Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse.”

“Whilst the reason being used by the racing industry is a scheduling mix up, it appears to us that she has responded to those calls.”

In the U.S., PETA issued a statement saying, “Taylor Swift dumped the Melbourne Cup, and PETA couldn’t be happier. The event is riddled with horse breakdowns and death…none of this cruelty is consistent with the kind person we know Taylor to be.”

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