by Anne Streeter, Director
The large horse lay on the hood of the car for a moment then fell to her knees multiple times before getting up. The horse, Mimi, had to be hurt – if not externally, internally but we will never hear of her condition as these things are never aired publicly.
Editors note: This article includes video of the original accident
Carriage trade protests have ebbed and flowed since 1989! Little has improved other than to reduce the heat requirement from 32 celsius to 30 and to reduce the number of permits. The horses continue to deal with unenforced regulations, long hours, heavy loads, leg injuries due to hard pavement and respiratory problems due to traffic pollution. The stables are filthy, fly infested standing stall shacks!
Unfortunately, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is not animal friendly. He sees carriage horses as a part of the area’s history – a tradition! He talks of a ban as one of several options but we know this will not happen under his watch. In the meantime there is tension among the drivers. They dislike the kingpin who owns most of the permits and who is happy to eliminate independents buying up permits as they become available.
I attended the demonstration on Sunday and was very encouraged to note a whole new crowd of young people, up to date and committed. I’m sure they will continue to apply pressure and with all the available cameras, more accidents will be documented and fed to the media.
In the meantime, the port area of Old Montreal is rapidly becoming gentrified. I truly believe that within a very few years there will be no room for dilapidated horse stables – along with the associated sad looking horses, smells and dangers. It’s just a matter of time.
Media coverage of the protests: