Are tourist buggy rides inhumane? -

Are tourist buggy rides inhumane?

PETA says ban them. Others point out that the horses get massages.


Are tourist buggy rides inhumane?A recent accident involving a horse-drawn carriage in Victoria has reignited a spirited debate over whether it’s ethical to allow horse and buggy rides for tourists in urban areas.

On a chilly Saturday morning in the B.C. capital last month, a horse set for carriage duty suddenly bolted from an Ogden Point parking lot, tossing its 23-year-old driver to the ground. No one was injured in the mishap, but the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) responded with a 10-page letter to Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin arguing that the city should ban carriages. The group complained that they subject horses to harsh weather conditions and the toxic fumes from cars.

The letter noted that several cities have already banned the practice, including Toronto, Las Vegas, London, and Beijing. (Toronto’s ban dates back to 1998, when city council outlawed carriages in the downtown core under pressure from animal rights advocates.) New York City councillor Tony Avella, who is waging his own battle against horse-drawn carriages, agrees. It’s not solely a question of animal welfare, he says, the carriages are also a threat to public safety. “It’s a huge safety risk to have a horse and buggy in midtown traffic with all these cars and trucks.” He adds that he’s running for mayor this year, and if he wins, he’ll outlaw buggies in New York.

Still, many Canadian cities, such as Montreal and Quebec City, still have them, and horse breeders like Rose-Marie Thompson, the owner of Summerwinds Stables in Saanich, B.C., don’t see what the fuss is about. Thompson says the animals used to draw carriages are carefully selected and meticulously pampered. “The horses are well-fed, well cared for—to the extreme,” she says. “They even get massages.”

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Are tourist buggy rides inhumane?

  1. but i thought cities were supposed to go green; what mode of transportation is supposed to be used in lieu of cars?

    PETA impresses me less and less; ever since their lack of concern over the girl that got raped along with her dog (i think it was) and the superbowl ad where they were obviously advocating “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” except females who are simply V-jay jays with veggies.

  2. I was in Old Quebec city about 5 years ago and was in an accident while taking a carriage ride.
    Something broke on the horse behind us, it started galloping, our driver stupidly put our carriage infront of it to try and stop him, our driver got out, the horse did n’t stop and rammed into us from behind. Our horse feeling the jolt took off without a driver and with us in the back, galloping thru the street. One of the ladies i was with jumped out, the other jumped over the seat, grabbed a rein and pulled. We proceeded to go over a parked car and then came to a stop. The back of our carriage where we were sitting was gone and we all ended up in the hospital. It could have been worse, it was June, a nice day, at lunch time and up ahead were all the sidewalk cafes which we would have barreled into,injuring lots of people if my friend hadn’t grabbed the reins. Sounds like a law suit waiting to happen, but no one would help us in Quebec and because we were just visiting and live in Ontario the language barrier and trying to find out information about who to contact was almost impossible. They didn’t want the bad publicity about their presious carriage rides that they are famous for.