Target: Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal
Goal: Abolish the practice of horse-drawn carriages in Montreal.
Horses pulling carriages endure extreme heat and health issues on the streets of Montreal. Reports of horses with lesions, stomping their feet and collapsing in the streets have come from the city for years with no visible change in the treatment of the animals or dismissal of a service meant to cater just to tourists.
These horses pull carriages in any weather, including blistering heat, without easy access to water or shade. City law states that calèche, or carriage, horses should be removed from their carriages above 30 degrees Celsius, or 86 Fahrenheit, yet police turn an eye to carriages that are still working and the horses pay the price.
One of the 45 calèche horses recently collapsed in the middle of a street during rush hour traffic after slipping on a hot metal plate in weather hotter then she should have been working. The driver was unable to properly navigate the streets to avoid the plates due to the cars and onlookers said four police officers had to come redirect traffic as the horse, named Mary-Lynne, fought to try and get up off the plate.
Other citizens of the city have alleged that horses are put down in the roads when they fall, often due to heat stroke, lack of veterinary care or being forced to navigate through construction areas. Horses aren’t meant to work on concrete roads surrounded by cars and construction, yet so many cities still have these animals being used to pull tourists through densely populated areas.
The Mayor of Montreal has expressed interest in the situation of these horses and has the power to stop their mistreatment. Tell him to ban the calèche horses from his city and get them all into safe and comfortable retirement.
Dear Mayor Coderre,
Recently a popular carriage horse fell on one of your streets after slipping on a construction plate after working in high temperatures. You have expressed some interest in this matter, opening an investigation into their welfare, but you can take it a step further and ban the practice.
As having professed an interest in these animals’ welfare, you cannot continue to let them work in such conditions. Horses are not meant for extreme labor on busy streets and hot days, and though it might attract tourists they will be happier these animals are living a peaceful and comfortable life.
Forty-five horses are working your streets and for years tourists and citizens have been reporting their abuse. Continuing forward with looking into their welfare and ultimately ensuring it by shutting down the practice all together is the best way to protect these horses and join the other cities who have ended the practice of using their labor as tourist entertainment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Smerikal