For Immediate Release:
11 October 2019
Animal Protection Group Urges Kelly Rowland to Rethink Scheduled Performance at the Horse Race
Sydney – Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to Kelly Rowland asking her to reconsider her scheduled performance at The Everest horse race.
In the letter, the group points out that the Australian public is increasingly condemning horse racing, with protests planned for The Everest, and that performing at the event is an unfit use of Rowland’s talents and not in keeping with her kindness.
“At The Everest, 12 horses will be mercilessly whipped as they’re pushed beyond their physical limits for two reasons: to win $14 million for their human owners and – as the chief executive of Racing New South Wales, Peter V’landys, admits – to ‘lure back lost generations of fans to the sport’,” writes PETA Outreach and Partnerships Manager Emily Rice. “The latter [reason] should serve as a red flag to anyone considering aligning their brand with this event, as it reflects the turning tide of opinion among the younger audience, including your fans. They simply don’t want to see horses abused for profit.”
Between July 2018 and August 2019, 122 horses died on Australian racetracks from catastrophic injuries or heart failure. While no concrete figures exist for “wastage” – the industry term for foals who are bred but never registered for racing – estimates suggest approximately 2,000 instances per year. Because these animals never represent a return on investment, they’re destroyed or neglected, and some are even abandoned to starve.
As documented by PETA Asia earlier this year, many horses bred by the Australian racing industry are sold to South Korea, where they’re eventually slaughtered for meat. Since the 1970s, more than 3,000 horses from Australia or who had Australian parents have been killed for their flesh in South Korea. Following the release of this investigation, police in Jeju, South Korea, have charged the abattoir where the footage was obtained, along with three of its workers, with killing horses in full view of other horses in violation of the nation’s Animal Protection Act.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that the lives of horses are of little value to the Australian horse-racing industry once they can no longer win races or money.