If you’ve ever wondered if the efforts of animal protection advocates was having any impact, this definitely proves it.
The famous Melbourne Cup Carnival, which comprises of Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Stakes Day and Oaks Day, has slowly but surely seen a decrease in attendance numbers in recent years.
And this year, it reached the lowest since 1999. Melbourne Cup Day itself hit the lowest attendance in 20 years.
This decline in attendance sits at around 25% since 2006. But you’ll probably work out that it’s no coincidence, since animal protection campaigns targeting the Melbourne Cup commenced just 2 years later in 2008.
Since then, the racing industry has been routinely exposed for it’s welfare issues: the lack of retirement plan, jumps racing, public floggings with the whip, deaths on track and in slaughterhouses.
Not to mention that horses have been consistently dying in the Melbourne Cup over the past few years, exposing a shocking statistic that this actually happens every 2.6 days year-round on Australian racetracks.
This year a horse died at the Melbourne Cup and then the next day, a jockey publicly punched his horse and was only suspended for 2 weeks. And this is an industry that claims to care about horse welfare.
It’s no wonder that the once-supporting-public can no longer take them seriously and are turning away in droves.
An industry that once operated without being held to public account, now struggles to maintain its social license. And it will only get worse until they realise they need to do better — much better.