A vegan activist who achieved social media fame by smearing herself with blood made a bold protest at the races on Melbourne Cup Day.
Infamous vegan activist Tash Peterson was escorted out of Perth’s Ascot Racecourse after protesting against animal cruelty on the day the Melbourne Cup was run.
The 27-year-old uploaded several posts and videos to social media of her protest at the West Australian races, where she repeatedly told punters “you bet, they die” and “you paid for their death”. She and another protester also unfurled a banner that said “you bet, they die”.
In an Instagram post, Peterson slammed horse racing as “abhorrent, outdated and barbaric” and she wore a white T-shirt emblazoned with the words: “149 killed on track last year.”
A video posted to her Instagram account showed Peterson continuing to yell at punters as she was escorted outside the venue by police.
In another post late on Tuesday night, Peterson said: “Animals are not here for us. They are not entertainment.”
Peterson told her social media followers: “Today my liquor license ban ended, so we went into the Ascot Races and protested against the horse racing industry.”
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF HER PROTEST IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE
Earlier this year Peterson was banned from every licensed venue in Western Australia after a series of stunts where she would storm pubs and restaurants to slam patrons for their dietary choices.
The prominent vegan activist gained notoriety in 2019, particularly on social media, for accosting shoppers at Coles, dressed as a blood-soaked abattoir worker and holding a fake dead chicken under her arm.
She also blasted sounds from animals, reportedly recorded in slaughter houses, and held a sign that read “Coles/Woolworths – Tell them the truth”.
Another dramatic stunt — which involved Peterson storming the Bathers Beach seafood restaurant in Fremantle in March to tell diners they were participating in the “fish holocaust” — is what saw her banned from all licensed venues until Tuesday.
She held a sign that read “I would rather be naked than wear someone else’s skin” as she entered the designer store in Perth.
“Who was murdered for your leather bag, down jacket and woollen jumper?” she said while walking through the store, which was packed full of shoppers.
Horse deaths at recent editions of the Melbourne Cup have put animal welfare in the spotlight on the day of the race that stops the nation. In 2020 Anthony Van Dyck became the seventh horse since 2013 to die on Cup Day while in 2018, The Cliffsofmoher had to be euthanised after suffering a fractured shoulder.
In response to recent fatalities, race organisers this year took extra precautions to ensure the wellbeing of all horses. The 35 fourth acceptors for the Melbourne Cup were required to undergo screening with a sophisticated CT scanner at Werribee, to pick up any pre-existing medical issues and make sure all the horses were healthy to run.
When the CT scanner broke down, Racing Victoria implemented new measures as a workaround. Those horses that had not yet been scanned were required to undergo comprehensive X-rays of their distal limbs, which were then to be examined by three imaging specialists.
Additionally, all horses had to undergo an extra veterinary assessment on Monday to check they were still healthy enough to run, while two horses — Delphi and Future Score — were looked at by vets again on Tuesday morning.
Future Score presented with lameness in his right foreleg and so was scratched, with vets not willing to take the risk of letting him run.