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Melbourne Cup protesters ‘just turning off reasonable people’: Rita Panahi

Over 100 protesters have gathered outside Flemington Racecourse ahead of today’s Melbourne Cup, holding signs attacking racegoers.

They say if any horse is injured or dies during the event they will move their protest to the front gate.

Rita Panahi spoke to Steve Price live from the racecourse, telling him she loves animals but doesn’t support the activists.

“I’m a huge animal lover, I’ve written so much about animal cruelty.

“Things do need to be improved but the way the protesters are going about it, it’s completely the wrong away and they’re just turning off reasonable people who actually do care about animal welfare.

“People in this industry, the overwhelming majority of them, absolutely adore their animals.”

Anthony Callea will be singing the national anthem at the event but has announced he will give his fee to an equine rehabilitation organisation.

Steve Price says he should have kept the announcement private.

“I don’t have a problem with that. What he shouldn’t do is make it public. If he wants to do that, do it, but don’t make it a story about yourself.”

But Rita disagrees, telling Steve she can understand the move.

“I think he’s making it public because he’s probably getting grief on social media.

“This is his way of trying to deflect that.

“I can understand that sentiment. If he is giving his fee that is taking a fairly principled position unlike some who take all the benefits but still virtue signal about how terrible it all is.”

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Image: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

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