In many U.S. cities, horses are suffering and dying to entertain tourists in horse-drawn carriage rides. At least 10 carriage horses have died just this year. This may seem fun to some; however, horses are often worked to death carting visitors through the streets and parks in freezing weather and extreme heat.
This practice is inhumane and forces horses to pull a vehicle that weighs hundreds of pounds, while pounding their hooves on hard pavement and breathing exhaust from cars, buses and taxis. Unaccustomed to the urban environment, horses can be “spooked” easily and cause accidents that inflict great damage on vehicles, drivers and most often, the horses themselves.
After working these busy and unsafe streets, horses are often sold to auctions in Pennsylvania where they can be – and are – sold to kill-buyers who transport the animals to Mexico or Canada to be brutally slaughtered for exported meat.
Horse-drawn carriages have been banned in many cities around the world, including London, Paris, Toronto and Beijing. Many U.S. cities have also banned them because of safety and congestion problems and humane concerns.
I was delighted to learn that one horse carriage company in Philadelphia shut down in 2017.