A carriage horse falls in Montreal, demonstrating, once again, that the city is no places for horses

Source: Tara Schulz / Facebook
Source: Tara Schulz / Facebook

Montreal, July 16, 2015 – Tuesday afternoon, a number of bystanders saw a carriage horse slip and fall on the corner of Notre-Dame West and Peel. According to one witness, the horse appeared terrified and had difficulty standing. Unfortunately, such incidents are not uncommon in our city, and each year, there are hundreds of complaints made by citizens to the Montreal SPCA regarding the working conditions and general state of carriage horses. For details regarding this particular incident, please click here.

The Montreal SPCA is extremely concerned about the welfare and safety of carriage horses in Montreal. In fact, we strongly condemn the use of carriages horses in urban environments. “Tuesday’s incident exemplifies exactly why the Montreal SPCA has been opposed to the use of horse-drawn carriages in our city since 1869. Carriage horses must endure extreme temperatures, lameness caused by constantly standing and walking on hard pavement, the noise and smells of traffic, and the inhalation of exhaust fumes.  Add to that a heavy load and long working hours, and what you have is not a charming way for tourists to discover the old city, but rather subsidized animal cruelty.  It is past time to put an end to this industry,” says Nicolas Gilman, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA. Furthermore, horse-drawn carriages constitute a threat to public safety, as horses are prone to spooking in response to sudden noises, which can result in serious accidents.

Many world-class cities, such as London, Paris, Beijing, and Toronto, have already banned horse-drawn carriages. The Montreal SPCA believes it is time for Montreal to follow suit by phasing-out this antiquated, inhumane, and unsafe industry.

Please express your concerns about the welfare and working conditions of Montreal carriage horses to the members of the Montreal Executive Committee, and politely ask that the city of Montreal phase out carriage horses, by writing to the following individuals:

  • Anie Samson – Vice-chair of the executive committee, Public safety, service – To reach her, click here.
  • Pierre Desrochers – Chair of the executive committee, Finance, major projects, human capital, corporate communications, legal affairs and assessment – To reach him, click here.
  • Denis Coderre – Mayor of the City of Montreal – To reach him, click here.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with municipal, provincial and federal governments to improve animal protection laws. In 2014, our inspection service investigated 1,217 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 3,012 animals, all species combined. A total of 101 animals were seized as a result of these investigations and several criminal and penal charges were laid.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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