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BOTH SIDES: Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Tours Safe, Humane Or Mistreatment?

August 25, 2007 | Horses / Animal Rights / Horse Carriages

Excerpted from:

The Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES
Courant Staff Writer

...."Recently, the state Office of Policy and Management gave Wethersfield a $25,000 grant to provide horse-drawn carriages in the town's historic district, slated to begin this fall. The project has been billed as a way to accentuate the rich heritage of Connecticut's "most ancient town." A more progressive perspective, however, would suggest that buggy rides are an exploitative and dangerous tradition that should be left in the history books.

...To expect horses to serve as vehicles in any traffic is unreasonable. The health and safety dangers inherent in the animal-drawn vehicle business have sparked a growing momentum for bans in many cities across the world, including Key West and Palm Beach, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Camden, N.J.; Toronto; Beijing; Paris; and London. Even when confined to light or pedestrian traffic, as in the Wethersfield plan, horses and traffic can be a deadly mix.

...There are more enlightened ways to herald and preserve Wethersfield's heritage than returning to the days when horses were forced to pull people through the streets."

Priscilla Feral, president of Darien-based Friends of Animals

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Comments

Can you tell me your opinion on horse training? Horses shouldn't be trained? FoA comments: Horses should not be exploited by humans. Training is a form of exploitation that only allows further exploitation. Horses should be free-living or retired to sanctuaries where no training/exploitation is allowed, desired or needed.

So these horses on your ideal sanctuaries will not receive any nutritional assessment, farrier care, vet care, injury treatment, or gelding? Please tell me if that is what would happen to thousands of horses on these sanctuaries, because that is how it sounds to me. Am I wrong? FoA comments: If you are wrong, it won't be the first time, so don't act surprised. First let me tell you what won't happen to the horses on the sanctuary: They won't be exploited by humans. The needs of these horses will met by their care-givers -- this is the same type of treatment given at sanctuaries for all types of animals.

Are the other animals docile cats and dogs, etc? Can you please tell me how the workers at your sanctuary are going to get near an untrained, dominant, 2000 lb draft horse to trim his feet or give him his shots, or float his teeth so he can eat? [Blog editors; note: Horses released from the horse-drawn carriage trade will live at horse sanctuaries that have skilled caregivers. Worry not. It's the streets of New York City that should be off-limits. There's no way of making that right. ]

I don't see the problem with horse drawn carriages. Like anything else, there should be regulations as far as how long a horse is allowed to work and, of course regulations on safety. I wouldn't agree with riding a carriage down a busy road, but if that's the problem here-it should be stated, and be more specific. Honestly, if you own a horse, and you keep in a pasture, barn, etc. It is most likely not getting the amount of exercise it needs. My horse loves to go riding down trails, or through the pastures. It gives him a purpose, a job, and an outlet for all of his energy. Not to mention, he loves sight seeing. FoA comments: If even well-intentioned private horse owners, as you state, cannot adequately meet their horses needs, there is no expectation that commercial owners, who exploit horses for profit, are able to do so either. It's the inherent flaw in all animal ownership -- the needs of the animal come second to the needs and whims of the owner. Horses (all animals) should not have their freedom taken away in order to serve humans.

I have recently been in Alcudia where I saw many horses pulling carriages. This is very cruel and just hope that these horses are very carefully monitored by the vets in Alcudia. The horses looked so sad and very tired and people who use these as a way to see Alcudia should think very carefully, wouldn't a taxi be better??? Have they no shame, please don't encourage the fat cats that own them, they should be struck off from having horses for their profit. Go and get a job, good idea why don't they pull people up and down Alcudia in the red hot heat, shame on you, see what it is like!! As you can see I feel very strongly about this and it just simply disgusts me.

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