Animal activists, concerned citizens, and general horse lovers took to the streets of Melbourne yesterday to Rally for a ban on the Horse and Carriage industry in the CBD.
The rally commenced at St Pauls Cathedral before finishing up at the entrance of Melbourne City Hall. Protesters raised concerns saying it is cruel, outdated and dangerous for passengers and other road users.
Kristin Leigh, campaign manager, of the Melbourne against horse-drawn carriage group, says the rally was “immensely successful” as over 100 people attended the rally and hundreds more signed the petition to ban Horse Drawn Carriage trading in Melbourne’s CBD.
“We are here to pressure the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, to remove the street trading permits that have allowed this industry to continue to support the coherent cruelty to these animals,” Kristin Leigh told The Newsroom.
This comes off the back of recent events where a horse’s head collided with a tram along Swanston Street. The carriage was driven by an unlicensed operator.
Mr Doyle has said in a media release “the city of Melbourne does not have the statutory authority to ban horse-drawn vehicles from the road, or from entering the municipality.”
Kristin Leigh believes more needs to be done to regulate the industry and protect the animals. “He [Mr Doyle] finally admitted he doesn’t support them anymore, yet he still refuses to ban them using the excuse that at least if there’s a street trading system they can regulate them but there not regulated anyway,” she told The Newsroom.
The Animal Justice Party believes there are grave concerns for the wellbeing of the horses. “No amount of regulation can fix the nature of the horse and the inherent cruelty that’s involved.
“Horses should be grazing; it’s actually essential to their health… in this trade they are tied to a post for many hours of the day,” Ms Leigh told The Newsroom.
The organisers have said that there will be more rallies taking place in the future. – Liela Boyd
Photo by Timothy Stevens.