Taylor Swift has withdrawn from her performance at Australia’s horse racing event, The Melbourne Cup, after animal rights activists accused the organization of malpractice.
Swift’s original set was scheduled for November 5th at Victoria Racing Club as part of her promotional world tour in support of her latest album, Lover. But Melbourne Cup recently announced her set would not be happening. According to CNN, Victoria Racing Club released a press statement reading, “Taylor is no longer able to make it to this year’s Melbourne Cup. Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here. To all of Taylor’s fans, we hope to see Taylor in Australia in 2020.”
Though the cancelation could very well be due to a scheduling conflict, many animal rights activists had been pushing for the singer to opt out of the performance. After Swift’s performance was announced, the group Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses began a #NupToTheCup campaign. The campaign called upon the singer to withdraw from her set, citing numerous deaths of horses during the event. According to the group, six horses have died during the Melbourne Cup since 2013.
— Horse Racing Kills (@hrseracingkills) September 12, 2019
The activist group also posted about Swift’s set on their Facebook page, comparing Taylor’s love for cats to the horses. “Taylor Swift has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup. An event where at least 6 horses have been KILLED over the past 6 years,” they wrote. “With such huge success already, she could easily afford to not only say NO, but use the opportunity to help the horses by speaking up against horse cruelty in the racing industry. If Taylor Swift cares at all about other animals the way she appears to care about cats, she will cancel her show and make a strong statement that animal abuse is unacceptable.”
After Victoria Racing Club announced Taylor’s cancellation, the activist group reveled in the pop singer’s decision. “THANK YOU TAYLOR! We are absolutely delighted with the news,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”