Press release:The City of Victoria in favor of animal exploitation. No operating ban in sight for horse-drawn carriages in in Victoria, British Columbia

Press release:The City of Victoria in favor of animal exploitation. No operating ban in sight for horse-drawn carriages in in Victoria, British Columbia


For immediate release


The City of Victoria in favor of animal exploitation

No operating ban in sight for horse-drawn carriages in in Victoria, British Columbia


Montreal June 18, 2019 – The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) Canada is urging Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry in Victoria.


While the carriages will be banned from the city of Montreal starting from January 2020, the councilor of the city of Victoria, Ben Isitt, must demote his original proposal to ban all carriages by 2023 to a simple regulation improvement.


Question of profit:

“It does appear that pressure from private interests and from the Chamber of Commerce has zapped the morale or the resolve of this council to move forward with very robust regulations, in terms of regulations that would phase out the industry,” said Isitt on the subject of horse-drawn carriages last May following a Council meeting at Victoria City Hall. Indeed, it is also a question, as in all cities that accept this cruelty, of preserving the horse-drawn carriage industry for profit at the expense of the interests and needs of the horses. “Horses do not choose to work, they suffer the decisions of their owner to exploit them to make a living.” commented Dominique Routhier, interim CEO and animal biologist of SPA Canada.


Same reality for horses everywhere:

Despite some support to keep the horse-drawn carriage industry in Victoria, the city lives the same reality as other cities operating carriages. In 2018, two incidents occurred in Victoria, one involving a horse pulling a cart full of passengers who panicked and hit a car, and the other where two horses hitched together collapsed on the ground and had difficulty getting up due to staff mishandling equipment. Since 1995, about thirty incidents have been recorded in the city of Victoria alone.


“Using an animal to meet human needs is an outdated and cruel practice. It is not because horses are domesticated animals that we must continue to exploit them, “explains Ms. Routhier.


Horses must work in extreme and unnatural conditions: driving around vehicles with noise, walking on pavement, breathing in pollution – they can develop breathing problems or joint problems. Not to mention the risk of accidents with road vehicles and the stress related to road noise. Horses are very sensitive animals and can easily be frightened which can cause danger to the population.


“Even if the horses had the best possible care, the fact remains that they are exploited to enrich their owner, a practice no longer tolerated by citizens today,” says Ms. Routhier.


The city of Victoria has bad press:

With the lack of support from councilors on the issue of horse-drawn carriages being banned in Victoria, the city will continue to exploit its horses to fill its pockets, especially since Ms. Helps does not consider animal exploitation as a priority to address such issues as stated at a City Council last May: “We are in a climate emergency, not an emergency for horses.” Nevertheless, there is still time to follow the trend and ban the carriages as seen in cities such as Toronto, Beijing, London, Oxford, Paris and several US cities and states.


“Mrs. Helps, the city of Victoria has the chance to follow the current of animal protection by banning the carriages on its territory. By turning its back on better animal protection, the city of Victoria will be seen as a cruel city without compassion for animals, where profit goes before animal welfare. This label is not desirable for gaining tourism. ” advises Ms. Routhier.


Take action:

Contact the Mayor of Victoria, Lisa Helps, to tell her that the place of the horses is not hitched on a carriage and that she make the ethical choice to propose, like the mayor of the city of Montreal, Valérie Plante, to buy the carriage horses and send them to a farm sanctuary. Only then will Victoria have made the right choice for their horses.

Lisa Helps: 250-361-0200 / 250-661-2708 /


About SPA Canada:

SPA Canada is a national nonprofit animal rights organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting all animal species.


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