Earlier this month Balatore, a 20 year old horse in Oregon, had a major heart-attack and collapsed in front of the Central Library in downtown Portland, OR. Balatore was forced to draw carriages for most of his adult life. At the time of his death he was towing a newlywed couple to the Crowne Ballroom. It was a 90 degree summer afternoon. He should not have been forced to tow a load in such sweltering heat.
Josey Murphy witnessed the horse’s death. He was quoted on KATU saying, “At first I thought a person got hit or something until I seen the big mound in the middle of the road. I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s a hot day, the horse was old.”
This is not rare. Collisions or deaths-by-exhaustion have occurred in nearly every city or town where horse-drawn carriages operate. In the past few years, dozens and dozens of horses have died or were severely injured while pulling tourist carriages. If you’re not convinced that this is a significant problem, check out PETA’s newly revamped fact sheet on horse-drawn carriages. And it is not just hot days that horses are forced to endure. New York City horses were forced to trudge through last year’s major ice and snow storm. It is about time we get serious about banning horse-drawn carriages.
Things are Heating Up in New York City
As Heather Moore announced earlier on the care2 blog, PETA and other organizations are building a coalition in New York City to ban the cruel carriages. Their MySpace page now has over 1000 friends. This may be the time; we have a pretty good shot at banning the practice in the Big Apple. Several cities in Florida have done so, and so have big cities like Las Vegas, Paris, and London.
What can I do?
- Sign the petition: NYC Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages!
photo cred: PETA