Birmingham’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Resolution Prompts PETA Plea

Mayor Urged to Reject City’s Move to Allow Cruel and Dangerous Horse-Drawn Carriage Service

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Birmingham, Ala. – After learning that the Birmingham City Council passed a resolution earlier today allowing a horse-drawn carriage service to operate within the city, PETA fired off a letter to Mayor Randall Woodfin urging him to reject the resolution on cruelty and public-safety grounds.

“Birmingham’s city council should never allow any business that would force skittish horses to haul heavy carriages on chaotic city streets day in and day out,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Today’s kind public wants nothing to do with businesses that exploit animals, and PETA is calling on Birmingham to join Palm Beach, Florida; Salt Lake City; and the many other cities across the country that have banned these cruel and archaic operations.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin follows.

April 17, 2018

The Honorable Randall L. Woodfin
Mayor of Birmingham

Dear Mayor Woodfin,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Birmingham, I urge you to reject the resolution that the Birmingham City Council passed today granting three certificates of public necessity and convenience to Magic Tour LLC to operate a horse-drawn carriage service on the streets of the city.

Despite claims from those who profit from them, horse-drawn carriages don’t represent a nostalgic trip back to days gone by—they are cruel to the horses, and in modern city infrastructures, they are dangerous to both animals and humans. Horses are forced to pull oversized loads and breathe in searing exhaust fumes, and they often suffer from serious leg and hoof ailments from standing and walking on hard pavement all day long.

Horses and city traffic can be a deadly combination. Skittish, sensitive, and easily “spooked,” most horses are not comfortable working among cars and trucks. Many accidents, injuries, and even deaths have occurred after horses became startled and ran amok.

In Willmar, Minnesota, for example, two horses pulling a carriage got spooked and took off, running for a mile with 15 passengers aboard, most of whom were children. The carriage eventually crashed, injuring several passengers, including the driver, who later died of his injuries. The liability risks to Birmingham are very real. Please see the linked factsheet for dozens of other examples of the dangers of having horse-drawn carriages on the road.

Cities across the country, including Palm Beach, Florida, and Salt Lake City, are busy banning these archaic operations, not permitting them. Please do not put animals, visitors, and residents at risk. Vetoing this throwback to a cruel, bygone era would be in line with your progressive platform and the public’s ever-increasing intolerance for exploiting animals for entertainment. May we please hear that you will reject this proposal and keep cruel horse-drawn carriages out of Birmingham? Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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