Stop horse-drawn carriage in Melbourne
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In Melbourne, Australia, in 2018, there remain horses working in the cruel urban horse-drawn carriage trade. This is an archaic practice promoted as sentimental, but it is certainly ‘not as romantic as you might think’.
The modern city is no place for the horse-drawn carriage in the name of entertainment. Already banned in several international it's time Melbourne caught up to the rest of the world.
These horses are commodities and earn their owners an income. Like all industries involving the use of animals, the horses' welfare is frequently compromised in the pursuit of profit.
The horses are permitted to work in temperatures of up to 37 degrees and down to 5 degrees and up to 12 hour days even in these extreme conditions. The Code of Practice (Operation of Horse-Drawn Carriages Within the City of Melbourne 2011) stipulates a horse can work three 12 hour days in a week, five 7 hour days in a week or every day of the week for 5 hours a day, in virtually all weather conditions.
They are meant to have a 20-minute rest every 2 hours of work, but like many other aspects of the Council's Code of Practice, it is not clear how effectively these regulations are enforced. There have been consistent breaches noted by concerned citizens and there is little evidence of enforcement. The horse-drawn carriage trade appears to operate largely as a self-regulating industry.
When not working, the horses are predominantly kept in inadequately sized yards in the inner city, in unacceptable conditions.
There are also significant impacts on amenity to be considered. There are odour issues associated with the horse-drawn carriages and ongoing conflict with traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists. Unprotected horses are frequently forced to negotiate tram tracks and carriage drivers have been consistently observed breaking road rules with no ramifications.
For those city users that find the practice unethical, it also has a negative emotional impact.
The horse-drawn carriages are often defended as a tourist attraction, however, they are not mentioned once in the City of Melbourne Tourism Plan, nor do they appear on Tourism Victoria’s website. The fact is, these horses earn money for their owners but the trade is of no consequence for the tourism industry and does not enhance Melbourne as a visitor destination.
Melbourne is our capital city and well-loved by all Victorians. Let's ensure that Melbourne is a place we can all be proud of and enjoy without bearing witness to this cruel and inappropriate use of animals.
Sign our petition and let the Lord Mayor and City Councillors know that the community will no longer tolerate animal cruelty and the sanction of the horse-drawn carriage trade by the City of Melbourne
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