December 1, 2012 is Horses Without Carriages International Day. Demonstrations and events will be held in several cities around the world to raise awareness about the inhumane, exploitative and unsafe horse-drawn carriage trade.
We hope local activists will join Working Animal Advocates as we participate in this international day of action by leafleting at the hack line in Old Sacramento in an effort to educate the public about the plight of horses forced to pull carriages who must toil in hot temperatures, work long hours without rest, breathe in exhaust fumes for extended periods of time, risk hoof and leg injuries from pounding hard city streets, and endure the assault of loud, discordant noise.
The presence of horse-drawn carriages in urban settings like Old Sacramento puts the safety of the horses and public at serious risk. Carriage horses must constantly weave in and out of traffic and contend with motorcycles, bicyclists, pedestrians and companion animals that cross their paths and share limited space on the streets. In recent years, there have been two incidents in Old Sacramento in which horses were attacked and injured by dogs, including one incident which resulted in the dog being shot and killed. And in 2009, a carriage was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident; the carriage was totaled, and the horse, carriage operator and two passengers all suffered injuries. Dozens of people and horses are injured or killed every year in carriage accidents, and it is only a matter of time before another dangerous incident occurs in Sacramento.
Harnessed between the shafts of their carriage for many hours a day, with a metal bit in their mouth, a diaper tied to their rear and blinders blocking their view, horses should not be deprived of natural movements and behavior just to endlessly give rides around the same few blocks to tourists. Please join us on December 1st to be their voice.
For more information about the global effort to end horse-drawn carriages, please see the Horses Without Carriages International website: http://www.horseswithoutcarriages.org/