The 2021 Melbourne Cup has kicked off with protests from animal rights activists from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses.
Animal rights activists have been intercepted by police at the entrance to the Melbourne Cup.
Several protesters dressed in black were filmed being arrested about 10.30am outside the Flemington venue on Tuesday.
They reportedly marched towards the gates shouting “nup to the cup”.
Members from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses were behind the protest, with the group allowing just 30 people to join in compliance with Victoria’s current Covid rules.
Seven horses have died on Cup Day since 2013.
ABC news presenter Michael Rowland said the figure left him feeling “conflicted”.
“I am increasingly conflicted about the Melbourne Cup,” he wrote in a tweet.
“Yes, it’s a huge event (and God knows Melbourne needs them at the moment). But I can’t overlook the fact seven horses have died on Cup Day since 2013. That really doesn’t sit easily with me. Genuinely torn.”
Elsewhere, animal rights group Animal Liberation staged a protest outside Brisbane’s Melbourne Cup races.
“Join us next Tuesday outside the main gate at Eagle Farm as we stand up for the thousands of horses who lose their life every year at the hands of the racing industry,” a post from the group to Twitter read.
Anthony Van Dyck, one of the favourites in last year’s event, fractured his fetlock on the track and was later euthanised, becoming the seventh Melbourne Cup horse death in as many years.
In 2018, Cliffsofmoher had to be euthanised after suffering a fractured shoulder, In 2013, Verema was euthanised after snapping a bone in her leg, and in 2014, Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall after a race, while Araldo broke a leg and was euthanised.
In 2015, Red Cadeaux broke his left foreleg, was rushed to the vet for surgery and was euthanised days later.
In 2016, Regal Monarch died after a dramatic mid-race fall.