Cheers to those who participated in a protest against Charleston’s carriage horse industry yesterday! We were dismayed to hear about Blondie last week, who fell in the middle of the street after being spooked by a truck, causing the carriage with 10 passengers to jackknife and the horse to sit down and then collapse on his side. Numerous attempts to get Blondie back on his feet failed, but he was finally able to shakily stand with the help of a crane after two hours, and had scrape marks visible on his legs.
Blondie’s fall has called attention to the plight of carriage horses around the country and we’re glad to see Charleston citizens speaking out against this cruel and abusive industry.
Numerous people posted comments on social media after the incident was reported, saying that horses should not be pulling people in traffic, especially in the summer heat. About a dozen protesters gathered with signs Tuesday morning at Meeting and South Market streets. Some of them wore thermometers around their necks and signs saying the brutal Charleston heat is too much for the horses.
At the same time, we’re very disappointed in the Charleston Animal Society which has not taken a strong enough stance against the carriage horse industry, issuing a statement saying they are “not opposed to the use of horses and other equines in pulling carts and carriages for hire, provided that all of the animals’ physiological and behavioral needs are fully met, housing and stable conditions are humane and their working hours and conditions are carefully regulated and independently monitored as to temperature, humidity, proximity to traffic, rest periods, etc.”
No matter what conditions are put in place, there’s no way around the fact that horses and traffic do NOT mix and carriage-horse companies are putting animals and the public at risk every time they force them to walk amongst cars. As a leader in the campaign to end the carriage-horse industry in NYC, we have reported on multiple incidents where carriage horses have been injured on busy city streets or caused injuries to humans.
You can take action today by sending a message to the Mayor of Charleston and urge him to ban the carriage-horse industry in his city. Email him right here: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 843-577-6970
We have a big cheer for the rescuers who saved thousands of rare forest turtles from horrifying conditions of captivity in the Philippines, saving the critically endangered animals from possible extinction. The turtles were apparently destined for pet and food markets in Hong Kong and China.
According to wildlife experts, more than 4,000 live freshwater turtles and 90 dead ones were found in a pond inside a remote warehouse on the western island of Palawan four weeks ago in one of the country’s biggest wildlife rescues. Veterinarians worked round the clock to save the animals and prevent a potential species die-off.
Many of the turtles were in “shocking, sickening” condition, suffering from eye ulcers, dehydration and other health problems, according to the Turtle Survival Alliance, an international conservation group that helped treat the reptiles.
Trapping or trading in the species is punishable by jail terms and fines. However, the Palawan provincial government has struggled to prevent poaching in one of the country’s most biologically diverse areas.
We are very much aware that whether as food, pets, trophies, or artifacts (religious and cultural), wildlife around the world is being captured, butchered, or both, for export at an alarming rate.
We have been working hard to protect another turtle species from the cruelty of the illegal wildlife trade and recently received a positive 90-day finding on its petition to list the Egyptian tortoise under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This means the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found FoA’s petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the ESA listing may be warranted.
Learn more about our work to protect threatened and endangered species by visiting our Wildlife Law Program homepage on our website.