Friday, August 26, 2011

Carriage Accident In Beacon Hill Park

There was a carriage accident earlier this week in Beacon Hill Park, as part of the harness broke causing the carriage to "jackknife". Thankfully no people or horses were hurt, but it was only dumb luck this was the case, and this could have had a very different outcome. Below is news footage from A-Channel:



Accidents involving the carriages occur with alarming frequency in Victoria, endangering both humans and horses. Last summer there were two significant accidents reported (here and here) - at what point is City Council going to say 'enough is enough, we shouldn't be risking human lives, and forcing horses to endure the same'?

We have a thorough collection of information and materials on our Activism page, and we are asking people to write the City Council and let them know their thoughts on the matter.

Please send letters councillors@victoria.ca and tell them that you want to see the horse-drawn carriages banned from Victoria's streets. Ask your friends and family to write as well, and please do share this on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and elsewhere.

If you'd like to get involved in our local campaign, which includes handing out leaflets and collecting signatures for our petition nearly every week (usually on weekdays, best if you have a spare hour from 11-1pm) please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for speaking up for these horses!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

1 comment:

  1. Too true that it was sheer luck that no one was injured. I'm sure the horse had some emotional shock though. I've pasted my letter to Council below. If anyone wishes to copy from it, feel free to do so ... the more letters the better!

    ********
    Dear Victoria City Councillors,

    I have written previously to express my concerns about the horse drawn carriages of Victoria. After another unfortunate (and potential dangerous) carriage accident last week, I’d like to take the opportunity to once again stress that horse-drawn transportation in the city is a harmful and cruel activity which absolutely does not need to continue.

    This particular accident happened because of faulty equipment – an example of not caring for the animals in a way which insures their safety. For me, forcing these horses onto busy city streets is proof enough that these companies do not have the animals’ best interests at heart; however, the fact that they use equipment which can break so easily under no obvious tension beyond that required to pull the carriage through a park on level ground, is a further example of the lack of awareness this industry has around the impact of this activity on the horses. By sheer luck, no one was hurt; there have been many incidences in other cities where that was not the case after a carriage tipping. Do we need to wait until that happens in Victoria to actually take action and make change?

    As a Victoria citizen who attends peaceful demonstrations to inform the public about the cruelty involved in horses pulling carriage in cities, I’d like you to know that a large number of tourists we speak to are frankly quite shocked that Victoria is so backwards as to continue with this ‘tradition’. Many of these tourists come from more progressive cities in the States where horse-drawn vehicles have been banned and these tourists find the reasoning for doing so completely obvious. So if Council’s lack of action on this matter is a concern of how this will impact ‘quaint little Victoria’ and our tourism, please know that banning the carriages will overall likely reflect positively on our city. Another positive side-effect will be the many happy James Bay residents who would no longer have to wait behind slow moving carriages or make risky moves trying to pass the horses (one of the things which spooks these horses because their blinders block their peripheral vision).

    We have several other unique ways of transporting tourists (e.g., Kabuki cabs, ferry shuttles, scooters, bike rentals, double deckers etc.) which equally promote small business and economic growth in Victoria. Why not shift to these methods? I really encourage Council to look into other tourist cities who have successfully banned carriages and do the same here. This would be a positive move that could open up new business opportunities in Victoria, reduce potential harm to humans and horses, improve traffic flow, and make a progressive statement about the city of Victoria and how we treat the animals with whom we co-exist.

    Thank you for taking this matter into consideration.

    Heather Steel

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