Letter: Questions about the horse-drawn carriage industry

Questions about the horse-drawn carriage industry


In light of the recent events where, Jake, a carriage horse went down due to icy roads in Downtown Savannah, it is necessary to raise some questions about the industry itself.  

Horse drawn carriages are not a necessity. They exist solely for the pleasure of people and to make a profit for their owners.  

Accidents are not uncommon (Google: horse drawn carriage accidents) and since the horses have no protections under the Animal Welfare Act, there is no way to be sure that the horses are being cared for properly.  

Savannah has put city ordinances in place but these are only welfare improvements. The horses may be less miserable but they are still miserable.  

I propose that this industry be banned completely as other cities have done. Carriage horses are not things to be used.  

They are sensitive, sentient beings, who are forced to work in all kinds of extreme weather conditions, pulling carriage loads of people while navigating dangerous city streets. They work in noisy traffic breathing vehicle exhaust fumes, nose to tailpipe for hours on end.

It is inhumane.

And no one wants to answer the question about what happens to them when they are no longer profitable. Are they allowed to live out their lives in happy retirement? Who pays for their care after they can no longer work?  

Do the owners put aside money to retire their horses and keep them safe and happy or do they sell them to kill buyers (Google: Kill buyers for horses) who ship them across our borders to Mexico or Canada where horse slaughter is legal?  

What you think of as a fun or romantic ride is anything but if you are the horse that is treated as a commodity and not a living being.  

Ruth Arnone, Organizer Savannah Animal Advocacy

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