Success! Montreal Bans Horse-Drawn Carriages

Animal advocates are celebrating a long-awaited victory in Montreal with the passage of a ban on horse-drawn carriages in the city.

The City of Montreal just officially announced that it adopted a new by-law banning the use of horse-drawn carriages, or calčches, throughout the city, which will go into effect on December 31, 2019 – giving those in the industry plenty of time to transition.

Animal advocates have been working for years to see this day become a reality.

In 2016, former 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, but opponents of the industry continued to argue they don’t go nearly far enough to protect horses who just don’t belong on busy city streets, or when they’re not working.

Unfortunately, trouble has continued for horses, and their presence poses a risk to public safety. According to CTV News, there have been at least four accidents involving carriage horses since 2014, while several hundred citizens have also complained about the treatment of horses. In 2016 and 2017, 14 tickets were also handed out for violations related to the health of horses and the state of carriages.

After video footage of another horse collapsing went viral last year, calls were renewed to get Montreal to pass a full ban – more than 79,000 people signed a Care2 petition in support following that tragic incident.

Now, everyone who spoke up on behalf of these horses can celebrate a major victory.

“The Montreal SPCA has been fighting against the use of horses downtown for nearly 150 years” said attorney Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “The end of this industry represents an important victory for our organization and demonstrates just how much our relationship with animals is evolving.”

The lead up to the ban also ensure there’s plenty of time for owners to find homes for their horses, which the SPCA has pledged to help with.

“The Montreal SPCA already has a solid network of foster homes and horse rescues and would be more than willing to help with proper placement of the City’s carriage horses, as we have already done for some individuals in the past,” said Elise Desaulniers, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA. “We hope to have the opportunity to work with the city and rescue groups to place these horses with loving and attentive caretakers.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Greta L
Greta L3 days ago

thank you

Frances G
Frances G8 days ago


Coo R
Coo R15 days ago

great news

Daniel N
Past Member about a month ago


Mia B
Mia Babout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

Frances G
Frances G1 months ago


Jan K
Jan S2 months ago

Thank you

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago


hELEN hEARFIELD4 months ago


Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Should hav happened years ago Thank you for caring and sharing