Animal welfare protests towards the 158-year-old Melbourne Cup continue to grow, with more people this year saying "Nup to the Cup" after a recent ABC expose revealed the mistreatment of thousands of retired racehorses.
Two Cup events were cancelled in Launceston due to a lack of ticket sales and one confirmed they received cancellations after the 7.30 report expose aired.
Six racehorses have died as a result of the Cup since 2013 and the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has reported 122 horses were killed on Australian tracks in one year.
Brightside Farm Sanctuary founder Emma Haswell said she used to document the cruelty, abuse and purchasing of race horses for human and pet grade meat at meat sales in Victoria.
"Ever since I was a child I've been anti-horse racing, I remember my father had a syndicate race horse with his job at The Examiner and I wouldn't go to the races and the rest of the family did," she said.
"I find it really odd that in this day and age, we feel the need to flog horses around the track for entertainment, if you or I whipped a horse like that we'd be charged with animal cruelty."
She said the sanctuary had a herd of ex-race horses they had been asked to take in but thousands were still killed for meat.
"I've watched thousands being sent off...they were put onto cattle trucks, all jammed in together, which if you know anything about horses they don't cope with that at all," she said.
"They would be kicking and biting at each others' ears, ripping at each other, falling over, getting stood on.
"I think if people believe the industry, that they're going as peoples' companion horses, it's just not true."
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Interstate businesses also hosted "Nup to the Cup" events and other animal welfare protests and Victorian police deployed officers and drones in anticipation of protests.
Tasmanian Greens' leader Cassy O'Connor attended Cascade Hotel's anti-cup event and said in the past she participated in office sweeps and watched the race.
She said the racing industry was "state sponsored cruelty", as the government gave funding to the industry.
"I recognise that there are many Australians who still...put a bet on the horses or who take part in the office sweep and I understand it's a really big part at some level of Australia's culture and identity but I think times have moved on," she said.
"It's an industry that over breeds, so that there are foals and horses that are bred simply to die and we now know the evidence is beyond doubt that race horses from all over Australia, including Tasmania, are dying the most awful, needless deaths at abattoirs interstate, it has to stop."
Ms O'Connor said there were owners, breeders and trainers who loved their horses and were concerned about their welfare but overwhelmingly the industry was founded on cruelty.