Next week, the Salt Lake City Council will again be tackling the issue of horse-drawn carriages. As someone who has owned and cared for horses at the Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary for nearly 20 years, I urge the council to ban this cruel practice.
Horses are prey animals and can spook easily. This is a bad combination with an urban environment where loud noises are a routine occurrence. This concern isn't only hypothetical. We have already had eight traffic accidents involving horse-drawn carriages on the streets of Salt Lake City since 2009, two of which claimed the lives of horses.
Even when there aren't traffic accidents, horses who are forced to pull carriages live sad lives. They live a nose-to-tailpipe existence day in and day out, exerting themselves even on our red air quality days. And we’ve all seen these poor horses working in Salt Lake City’s sweltering summers and frigid winters. It’s heartbreaking.
Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York City, took office this week and reaffirmed his commitment to end that city's horse carriages. Salt Lake City would do well to follow this example and embrace a positive change instead of stubbornly clinging to an unnecessary, antiquated and inhumane practice.