A few weeks ago, a 20 years-old horse in Oregon, had a major heart-attack and collapsed in front of the Central Library in downtown Portland, OR. Balatore, as the horse was called, was coerced to draw carriages for most of his life. Moments prior to his death, Balatore was schlepping newlyweds downtown in a sweltering 90 degree summer afternoon.
One passerby was quoted on KATU saying, "At first I thought a person got hit or something until I seen the big mound in the middle of the road. I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s a hot day, the horse was old."
Unfortunately, this is not a rare coincidence. Collisions or deaths-by-exhaustion have occurred in nearly every city or town where horse-drawn carriages operate. In the past few years, dozens and dozens of horses have died or were severely injured while pulling tourist carriages. If you're not convinced that this is a significant problem, simply check out PETA's newly revamped fact sheet on horse-drawn carriages. Likewise, it is not just hot days that horses are forced to endure. New York City horses were forced to trudge through last year's major ice and snow storm.
It is about time we get serious about banning horse-drawn carriages. Please sign this petition, and send a clear message to your elected officials that horse-drawn carriages should be banned.