Taylor Swift has canceled her performance at Australia’s Melbourne Cup after receiving pressure from animal rights activists, who are protesting the racing event due to its treatment of horses.
The pop star was supposed to play during the event on November 5th as part of her promotional Lover tour; however, the Victoria Racing Club announced Saturday (September 21) that “a recent change to Taylor Swift’s Asian promotional tour means she will no longer be able to perform at this year’s Melbourne Cup.”
The cancellation comes after animal rights activist organizations, including the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, called for the singer to withdraw from the event.
“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,” the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses wrote on Facebook earlier this month. “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.”
Though neither Swift nor the Melbourne Cup have addressed activists' outcries as the reason for her cancellation, the Coalition praised the star's decision on Facebook.
“THANK YOU TAYLOR! We are absolutely delighted with the news,” they wrote. “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.”
“We will be keeping a close eye out for whether another artist is announced to perform at the day which is widely becoming known as a national disgrace," the continued. "No one should be supporting this event which depends on the abuse and suffering of horses.”
Read the full statement below.