Horse-drawn carriage
(Doug Clement Photography)

BC’s capital city is no stranger to horse-drawn-carriage-based controversy, but now pushback is coming from Victoria city council itself.

Councillor Ben Isitt voiced concerns at a recent council meeting about the use of horses in the city environment.

“If we are serious about animal welfare, these animals need to be in rural areas on farms, not working in the dense urban environment under these conditions,” Isitt said.

“I don’t think commercial horse-drawn carriage operations are an appropriate use of animals for commercial purposes and essentially for entertainment.”

The issue arose during a debate over identification numbers being used for horses pulling carriages (the motion ultimately passed).

Though Isitt voiced his concerns, he did not actually propose a motion or attempt to alter the bylaw.

History of Controversy

The Victoria Horse Alliance has advocated for an end to horse-drawn carriages in the city for years. In fact, a petition to ban the use of horses in the city that they started in 2016 has since garnered over 10,000 signatures.

But Donna Friedlander, the Tally-ho Carriage Tours in Victoria, has consistently denied that the horses are mistreated.

“When it comes to animal welfare, I think we do an amazing job,” Friedlander told CBC News.

Tally-ho reportedly utilizes a team of veterinarians, farriers, and chiropractors to care for the animals.

“The horses that we use are all draft horses or heavy horses. They’ve been bred for over 300 years to do exactly this kind of work,” Friedlander continued.



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