Megan Gale withdraws from the Melbourne Cup in response to shocking allegations of animal abuse … after Taylor Swift's performance in the & # 39; race that stops the nation & # 39; has canceled
The Melbourne Cup is about ordinary people and not about celebrities, says the Prime Minister of Victoria, while model Megan Gale joins a list of stars to avoid the race in the midst of animal abuse claims.
The 44-year-old has been a fixture among the Flemington party tents for many years, but offered no explanation as to why she would not be present next week when she announced her absence on Thursday.
It follows last month's withdrawal from American singer Taylor Swift and actress Lana Condor who pulled the plug last week, both with regard to planning issues.
Boycott: The Melbourne Cup is about ordinary people and not celebrities, says the Prime Minister of Victoria, while model Megan Gale (pictured at last year's event) joins a star list to avoid the race amid animal abuse claims
But Prime Minister Daniel Andrews doesn't care about the number of staff on the job.
& # 39; The Melbourne Cup is not about so-called big celebrities who visit us & # 39 ;, he told reporters.
& # 39; It's about ordinary, hard-working Victorian families who will be in record numbers and many hundreds of thousands more who will follow the race that will stop the nation.
& # 39; The Spring Carnival is an extremely important part of our large event calendar. & # 39;
Andrews is not present at the event, but said it has nothing to do with police support for a larger number of demonstrators outside of Flemington Racecourse.
Activists from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses plan to make themselves heard every day outside the gates of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, as well as during the Melbourne Cup parade on Monday.
The group said it was flooded with support since ABC & # 39; s 7.30 program last week broadcast images of racehorses sent to a slaughterhouse and allegations of animal abuse at the facility.
Andrews stressed that horse welfare is taken very seriously in all race codes, and points out that Racing Victoria announced a $ 25 million boost this week to fund an extensive welfare program.
Dating app Bumble is the only carnival sponsor that makes a donation to the program and promises $ 130,000.
& # 39; We were deeply saddened by what we saw in the 7:30 am report & # 39 ;, said spokeswoman Michelle Battersby.
& # 39; I don't think we were in a position where we could ignore that. & # 39;
Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt said that even people who enjoy the races are increasingly concerned about how animals are treated behind the scenes.
A royal commission in the racing industry could solve the problem, he added.
& # 39; What at first glance seems to be a good day out is actually based on a lot of cruelty & # 39 ;, he told reporters in Melbourne.
The Andrews government also faced heat from Victorian Greens MP Tim Read in parliament, because race horses could be beaten.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula said whether beating horses is a matter for Racing Australia, because the issue needs to be tackled nationally.
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