Australian Radio Network races into Melbourne Cup controversy

Staff Writer
Melbourne Cup ARN ad

Australian Radio Network has found itself dragged into the controversy surrounding the horse racing industry after extending its partnership with the Victoria Racing Club last week.

The deal will see its Melbourne stations, KIIS 101.1 and Gold 104.3, support the 2019 and 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnivals.

However, that relationship has been attacked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – the animal welfare group has condemned the network for refusing to run its Melbourne Cup spot.

The ad highlights the treatment of thoroughbreds with a mock race call that describes the death of Melbourne Cup runners The Cliffsofmoher, Red Cadeaux and Admire Rakti.

However, PETA claims it’s been rejected by ARN after being described as too “inappropriate”.

Listen to the 60-second PETA spot:

In a media statement posted on its site, PETA says the ad raises some very important issues.

“Each spring, we’re bombarded with advertisements about having a day at the races, what to wear to the races and what to drink at the races.

“However, most people don’t know the cruel reality of what they’re supporting because it’s not profitable to talk about wastage, breakdowns, and deaths.

“There’s no justification for exploiting animals for entertainment and killing them when they’re no longer considered useful.”

PETA’s call for a Cup boycott follows a decision by pop superstar Taylor Swift to cancel a much-hyped performance at Flemington Racecourse on Melbourne Cup Day.

ARN has been contacted for comment.

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