Target: Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas
Goal: Keep Las Vegas from bringing back horse-drawn carriages
In the shadow of the New York controversy over the ethics of horse-drawn carriages in cities, Las Vegas has decided to push for approval to bring the trade back to their streets. Carriages, however, are incredibly dangerous for both the horses and passengers, and this is why the push for a ban in New York has been so strong. Horse-drawn carriage rides in Las Vegas must be stopped before any more lives are harmed because of this unnecessary tourist trade.
It is likely no coincidence that Las Vegas’ push to bring back horse-drawn carriage rides comes at the same time as New York’s impending ban. The decision is largely an attempt to increase business and development downtown. Unfortunately, the cost of the city’s increased revenue will likely fall on the shoulders of the horses who will have to pull carriages around on pavement for several hours per day in the searing desert heat. Valerie Pringle, equine protection specialist for the U.S. Humane Society, said “I would never work a horse on the asphalt for eight, nine hours a day. Their feet are not meant to work on asphalt.” She also suspects the rides will eventually be derailed. “People these days pick up the phone and call, or they can document what they see with a date-stamped photo. And people are much more aware of animal welfare.”
A ban was already ordered by the state Public Services Commission because of events in 1985 in which four people in a carriage were injured when thrown from a carriage after a horse was startled and ran across six lanes on the Vegas Strip. Connecticut tourist Laurette Dragon, 53, suffered severe head injuries. There is no way to truly acclimate a horse to traffic noise and conditions. Even in New York where many of the horses have been pulling carriages throughout the city for years, there have been more than 18 accidents involving horse-drawn carriages in the past 2 years, all of them either resulting in the death of the horse or the passengers and driver being severely injured.
Please sign the petition below and stop Las Vegas from lifting its ban on horse-drawn carriages.
Dear Mayor Goodman,
Las Vegas is currently pushing to bring horse-drawn carriage rides back to the tourist trade. This campaign has begun despite the fact that New York, where it has been an institution for decades, is working toward a ban because of the inhumane treatment of horses that is inherent in carriage rides. These animals are forced to work at least 8 hours a day pulling carriages that can weigh up to a thousand pounds with passengers on hard pavement, something for which they are not biologically equipped. Not to mention the fact that traffic accidents regularly cost the horses their lives and result in injured passengers and drivers.
I strongly encourage you to keep the ban in place. There is absolutely no necessity for horse-drawn carriages and animals should neither be used as entertainment nor as a means for profit.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr