No Carriage Horses in Montreal this Summer – A Good First Step

1932385_444281809047510_3620978584673076351_nMontreal, May 18 2016 – This morning, Mayor Denis Coderre announced a one-year ban of the carriage horse industry in Montreal. On behalf of the millions of animal lovers in Montreal, the Montreal SPCA would like to congratulate Denis Coderre and his administration for taking this necessary first step by shedding an investigative light on this troubled industry. The Montreal SPCA remains cautiously optimistic until a permanent solution is adopted which does not include the use of carriage horses in our City.

The Montreal SPCA has always been 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. Carriage horses in Montreal are often forced to work 9 or more hours per day 7 days a week, 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.

The Montreal SPCA has been speaking out on behalf of the welfare of horses since 1869 and we will continue to encourage the city of Montreal to permanently phase out this inhumane, unsafe and unnecessary industry in our city. “Horse-drawn carriages are not a charming way for tourists to discover old Montreal – they are a subsidized form of animal cruelty, attracting negative reviews regarding our beautiful city” said Nicholas Gilman, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA.

A phase out plan would give the city of Montreal a chance to work with the owners of horses and the Montreal SPCA, horse rescues & sanctuaries to place all the horses into loving and experienced retirement homes. The Montreal SPCA already has a sturdy network of foster homes and horse rescues and would be more than willing to help with proper placement of the carriage horses, as we have already done for some individuals in the past: https://www.spca.com/?p=4137&lang=en.

Many world-class cities, such as London, Paris, Beijing, and Toronto, have already permanently banned horse-drawn carriages. The Montreal SPCA encourages Denis Coderre’s administration to follow suit by permanently phasing-out this antiquated, inhumane, and unsafe industry.


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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