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Ponies Used for Children’s Carousel Rides are Being Abused

Ponies Used for Children’s Carousel Rides are Being Abused

Crammed nose to tail and forced to walk in monotonous circles for hours on end, the use of real ponies for carousel rides is a very real problem and one that needs your attention.

Taking place in fairgrounds all over the globe, live ponies are shackled by their heads to carousels where they have no choice but to walk round and round in one direction, at a set speed for hours at a time giving rides to screaming children of all ages and sizes.

These rides typically consist of 6 – 12 ponies being tied to a rotating mechanical arm. The animals have barely any room to move and incur many painful rubs and sores from their tack, especially around their head area.

As well as having to endure all kinds of varying weather conditions, including harsh summer heat waves and lashing cold rains, these poor ponies are denied their basic rights of being able to eat, drink, urinate and defecate freely. As if this isn’t bad enough, they are also subjected to continuously loud fairground music. A veterinarian that witnessed one of these horrific rides in Spain concluded that the animals were most likely profoundly deaf as a result.

Photo evidence provided by members of the public has shown numerous accounts of ponies lying motionless on the floor, either dead or sick as a result of severe dehydration and exhaustion.

After a lifetime of enslavement, exploitation and mistreatment, when the ponies become no longer of use, they are often sent to the slaughterhouse.

A Happy Ending for Victoria

Victoria is a carousel pony rescued from the south of Spain who is now lucky enough to have a wonderful forever home in Sanctuary Gaia. After years of being used for the entertainment and amusement of children, she was deemed worthless by the fairground and was left tied without being able to move, which led to severe atrophy of her limbs. When rescued, her drinking water was so dirty it was green.

Despite still suffering from both the mental and physical effects of her previous life, Victoria is now free to run in the green grass and carry out her natural instincts. She has taken a particular liking to Samuel, a calf rescued from the dairy industry, who also lives at the sanctuary.

Ismael Lopez, co-founder of Sanctuary Gaia, is well aware of the cruelty that these live pony rides entail. He states, “..the child in the photo is me because the education I received was a speciesist education where I was taught that I was superior to any other animal, which is why for 30 years of my life I have used animals for my benefit…no one taught me there was another way, and that is why I work to show the reality of these exploitative industries.”

Animals Are Not Ours For Entertainment

No animal deserves to be used for our entertainment. With more and more people becoming aware of these inhumane practices, we are able to unite and collectively demand an end to this injustice.

In July 2013, the Spanish municipality of Pamploma approved a motion with the unanimous support of almost all councilors to prohibit the use of pony drawn carousels in 2014. President of AnimaNaturalis Aida Gascon, an animal rights organization in Spain, said “We welcome this news, because it shows that if society is informed and unites we can get a ban on activities involving animal abuse. Carousels with ponies are an outdated attraction that cause stress and suffering to the animals due to the noise and bustle of the fairs. In addition, they undergo mental and physical exhaustion caused by endless circling, and are also exposed to environmental conditions that can be extremely harsh.”

At my sanctuary (Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary), we will never stop speaking out for animals that need our help. We are working in collaboration with numerous other sanctuaries and animal rights organizations across Spain to put a stop to this cruelty once and for all. Join us in our fight by signing the petition below and sharing this post to help raise awareness of this issue.

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Photo Credit: Animal Protection Navarra

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164 comments

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11:58AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

Everything about this is totally wrong. They are tied up for long periods without food, shelter, water and REST! They are, as the majority of animal cruelty is money makers. They can't have any compassion because if they did they'd care and look after their well being. they don't as its simply leave tyhe pony where it drops and go off and get another one! Sickening. We need to sign and share to make this plight of the ponies as widely known as possible. x

10:28PM PST on Jan 23, 2014

I have been concerned about this here in the U.S. Every year our town fair has these pony rides and I know it isn't right. Round and round in the sweltering heat, then traveling all over the place. It is horrible. I am glad to see this issue getting the attention it needs. This practice needs to stop.

8:09PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

the whole of humanity for generations since the beginning of time has abused animals and it will take humanity awhile to change how they view animals and how animals might feel. A huge learning curve for humans is happening, and I pray to the Universe or who ever is in charge out there that we get smart real quick cause our entire planet is counting on it, if we don't save the animals we will kill ourselves.

4:10PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

I have Spanish blood in me, but it sure perks up to a boil when I hear what the Spanish do to animals. GRRRR! Bull fights, running with the bulls...etc...they never seem to get past the bloodlust of the Inquisition, do they? Can see why my great great grandparents took a boat out of Spain.

5:27AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

OMG. I've never seen anything like this before. In my country carousels are always done with fake horses.

I used to give pony rides (NOT CAROUSELS) at a big fair, the ponies actually enjoyed it and all the attention and pets and the outting too eg enough ponies so that some were always getting a rest, walking WITH the pony leading it..and certainly not taking them round and round in little circles! Pony rides can be done in a manner in which both the ponies and the kids are happy.

No need to give pony rides in a cruel way but I guess these owners are too lazy to treat their animals right, so use machines to lead them around rather then lead them around themselves while giving the animals the attention they deserve

10:08AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

But.... but.... but... are you trying to tell me that "Friendly Farms" isn't friendly?? No! Stop the propaganda immediately! Here we see ponies willing to give up to 100 rides per hour and you know, they wouldn't do it if they weren't very friendly.

http://www.friendlyfarmsltd.com/

4:14AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

As this happened in Spain how about the abuse of all animals in local towns and villages with the excuse it´s tradition! Bulls.Goats,Live fowl hung from church belferys all in the name of Tradition.A green star for the Sanctuary but a lot more needs to be done for all animals that suffer at the hands of those imbecils.

12:52AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Very sad for these ponies.

Well it seems for ANY animal working with people similar occurrences will occur.. no matter what animals, no matter what country & no matter what industry! Very few exceptions exist.

2:52PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

What in hell is wrong with the human species?!! In this case, down on Your own knees and se how long You will last with a Child on your back. And for You parents who let your kids ride on these ponies, do you not have any conscience or are you just totally ignorant to animals feeling. This is nothing less then pure cruelty to animals and must stop!

10:43AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

More cruelty. Ban it now!!!!

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