Carriage Horse’s Collapse in Montreal Renews Calls for a Ban

Animal advocates have renewed calls to ban horse-drawn carriages in Montreal after a distressing video of a horse collapsing on the street went viral last week.

“The horse’s front legs gave out, and the animal’s head and jaw hit the ground hard,” Diane Villeneuve, who witnessed the incident and recorded the video, told the CBC.

Witnesses said it took about 10 minutes to get the horse, named Cocette, to stand up. While Cocette’s owner, Luc Desparois, told Global News, “The horse just fell asleep. She just had a snooze on the stand and she went down,” his response is kind of absurd and what happened to her is just one incident among many that have drawn opposition to this controversial industry.

The carriage horse industry, or calèche industry, in Montreal has long been in the spotlight of animal advocates who want to see it ended in the city. Last year, Mayor Denis Coderre moved to place a one-year moratorium on the industry after several accidents involving carriage horses were caught on camera, but the Quebec Superior Court shut down his effort with an injunction.

Instead of challenging the decision, he introduced new regulations that limit their working days to nine hours, and prevent them from working at temperatures over 28°C (82°F), among other measures addressing carriage drivers. The changes were passed in August, but opponents of the industry argue they don’t go nearly far enough to make any sort of meaningful difference and that only a complete ban will truly address the problems inherent in this industry.

“Horses have absolutely no place in downtown Montreal,” Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy at the Montreal SPCA, told the Montreal Gazette in response to this incident.

“For a horse to collapse like that, there’s clearly something very wrong with the horse.” Devine added. “Horses are being subjected to really long work hours and really congested, busy downtown streets; they’re inhaling exhaust fumes, and are subject to potential collisions as well as stress.”

Not only do horses just not belong on city streets, the regulations also do nothing to address their living conditions when they’re not working. Instead of being allowed to graze, play and socialize, they spend their time confined to stalls.

Hopefully what happened to Cocette will help shine a spotlight on this outdated industry and help garner enough pressure to get officials to finally shut it down.

TAKE ACTION!

You can help by signing and sharing the petition urging Mayor Denis Coderre to ban the calèche industry in Montreal once and for all.

For more on how to help, check out the Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition and the Montreal SPCA.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

75 comments

Kathryn I
Kathryn I5 days ago

Petition signed. Such animal abuse must stop. Thanks

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H5 days ago

Signed. Unacceptable.

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HEIKKI R
HEIKKI R8 days ago

THANK YOU

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Ellie M
Ellie M8 days ago

ty

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I8 days ago

Petition signed!!! Yet another form of animal abuse that must be banned permanently!! Greedy people continue to value profits over animal welfare!!! This must stop!

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Joy M
Joy McRonald9 days ago

Disgusting...

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Cruel J
Cruel Justice9 days ago

My city tried to bring horses here, in the 100+ heat, but there were too many of us trying to stop it, so they gave up. At least for now.

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Glennis W
Glennis W11 days ago

Cruel bastards Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W11 days ago

So horrible and cruel This should be banned Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W11 days ago

Deplorable and sickening Thank you for caring and sharing

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