Melbourne – After pressure from PETA, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, and Animals Australia, insurance company AAMI has confirmed it is no longer sponsoring the Melbourne Cup.
Just last year, the company had naming rights to Flemington’s Derby Day and a member’s lounge at the racetrack called the “AAMI Lucky Club”. Over the past year, thousands of PETA supporters have emailed the company asking it to stop its sponsorship of the Melbourne Cup.
“Following the spate of recent controversies revealing the horse racing industry’s cruel practices, we’re grateful that AAMI has made the clever and compassionate decision to end its sponsorship of the disgrace that stops the nation,” says PETA Campaigns Advisor Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA urges Lexus, Seppelt, and Kennedy Luxury Group to follow AAMI’s lead and disassociate themselves from this cruel industry or risk falling out of favour with their customers.”
Seven horses have died at the Melbourne Cup alone over the past eight years. Last year’s victim was Anthony Van Dyck, who was killed after fracturing his fetlock during the race. In 2018, 5-year-old Irish Thoroughbred The Cliffsofmoher fell badly, breaking his shoulder. He was killed shortly thereafter. Other horses who died include Verema in 2013, Admire Rakti and Araldo in 2014, Red Cadeaux in 2015, and Regal Monarch in 2017.
A hundred and forty-nine horses died on Australian tracks between August 2020 and July 2021 – that’s one every two and a half days.
A 2019 PETA exposé found Australian horses sold to the South Korean racing industry being slaughtered for meat. Even a foal fathered by the stallion Street Cry – who sired Australian racing legend Winx – was killed for meat in South Korea.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – filed criminal charges in the Magistrates Court of Tasmania on Friday, alleging that the whipping of horses at Tasmanian racecourses violates the state’s animal welfare laws.