Following a collision between a carriage horse and a car, Projet Montreal demands that the City of Montreal takes action to help carriage horses

Montreal, April 21, 2016 – This morning, following a collision between a carriage horse and a car caught on video yesterday in Griffintown, Projet Montreal is asking the Coderre administration to take concrete steps to help carriage horses in our city. The Montreal SPCA has been opposed to the use of horse-drawn carriages since 1869 and has repeatedly asked the city of Montreal to work with our organisation to phase out this antiquated and inhumane practice. The Montreal SPCA is thus pleased to see the official opposition publicly asking the city to act in order to help these horses.

Projet Montreal is asking the Coderre administration to hold a public consultation about horse carriages as quickly as possible, to publish the report from the group ‘Cheval Cheval’ hired by the city to advise on the issue of carriage horses , to increase the number of inspectors dedicated to enforcing the by-laws related to carriage horses and to immediately suspend all carriage horse vehicle permits belonging to the owner of the vehicle implicated in yesterday’s incident until the incident is thoroughly investigated. “This unfortunate incident simply adds to the poor track record of Montreal’s horse-drawn carriage industry. Mayor Coderre’s strategy of inaction is no longer acceptable” stated Sterling Downey, animal management critic for the official opposition. “This industry needs a serious and immediate overhaul, or else its activities will have to be terminated” added Downey.


“Carriage horses in Montreal are often forced to work nine or more hours per day, seven days a week, they are subject to potential collisions with traffic, loud noises that can cause “spooking” (which can also endanger humans), extreme temperatures, and years of walking on unnaturally hard surfaces which often causes lameness. When the horses are not working, they are kept tied in stalls , have no opportunity to move around freely, or engage in any other natural behaviors” said Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We will continue to encourage the city of Montreal to phase out this inhumane, unsafe, and unnecessary industry and we are very encouraged by the fact that Projet Montreal has chosen to take a stand on this important issue.”

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.

To learn more, please 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 2015, the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations and Inspections Department investigated 1,339 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 1,945 animals, all species combined. A total of 659 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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