Thousands have spoken out against horse-drawn carriages, and for good reason. The abuse that horses in this industry endure is very real. Just recently in Charleston, South Carolina, a horse pulling a carriage full of passengers collapsed in the street, apparently from exhaustion. Check out the heartbreaking video:

Horse Down

Horse collapsed at 3:30PM today on Meeting Street at Hassell Street (in front of Fig Restaurant). Watch the video. SHARE IT. It's time for the City and Industry to come clean. Over 55,000 visitors and residents are calling for the city to put a STOP to the abuse. Support a peer reviewed, science based study of the Industry like the Charleston Animal Society has repeatedly requested. #justsayneigh

Posted by Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

According to reports, the horse, named Big John, won’t return to service until he’s cleared by a veterinarian and the city’s equine manager. We say that people should stop forcing him to pull carriages, period.

Every year, the list of incidents involving horse-drawn carriages grows, and it’s a big concern. City streets are not a natural setting for horses: The exhaust fumes that they breathe in from nearby cars affect their lungs, causing respiratory ailments, and they develop debilitating leg problems from walking on concrete. Some horses have even dropped dead from heatstroke after working in the scorching heat and humidity.

People can get hurt, too. There are countless incidents in which carriages have been hit by cars. In addition, horses are extremely sensitive to loud noises and unexpected sounds, which may spook them and make them bolt, resulting in serious injuries for humans and horses alike. Some injuries have even resulted in death.

After being forced to pull heavy loads, horses that have grown old and tired are often sold and then slaughtered. Their bodies are then either turned into food for dogs or for carnivores in zoos or shipped overseas for human consumption.

Since horses aren’t protected under the federal Animal Welfare Act and state and local anti-cruelty laws provide them with few safeguards, it can be difficult for humane authorities to monitor industry practices to ensure that horses are being treated humanely. The dark reality of what horses in this industry endure is heartbreaking, inhumane, and utterly cruel. Simply put, horse-drawn carriages must end.

What You Can Do to Help

Never ride in a horse-drawn carriage! Big John collapsing in the middle of the road is just one of many reasons why they should be a thing of the past.

Many cities—including Biloxi, Mississippi; Camden, New Jersey; and Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Key West, and Treasure Island, Florida—have banned the use of horse-drawn carriages. Please spread the word by sharing this blog post and taking action. Let’s end this abusive industry!

Together, we can help stop this! Please politely urge Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg to ban horse-drawn carriages