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Taal Volcano is isolated and far from major cities in the Philippines, and the majority of the area’s residents live in poverty. The working horses on the island never receive veterinary care. Many tourists flock to Taal to climb the volcano, and most opt to ride on the malnourished and tired horses’ backs up and down the steep slopes in the blazing sun.

The horses climb the steep mountainside without any rest. They stumble on the rocks and are forced to continue, despite physical exhaustion, under the threat of a whip. When they get to the top, no food or water troughs are waiting—instead, they’re granted only a few minutes of rest before they’re forced to start the dangerous trek back down.

horses forced to give rides on a volcano

PETA Asia, in partnership with International Veterinary Outreach (IVO), has undertaken a project to improve the lives of these working horses. The groups have been holding clinics that have provided hundreds of horses working in the worst conditions with teeth floating (i.e., filing down the sharp edges on their teeth), hoof care, vaccinations, and parasite prevention.

horses on volcano philippines

While the lives of these horses will never be comparable to what they’d enjoy in a sanctuary, meeting their most basic health-care needs greatly reduces their suffering. PETA Asia and IVO also conduct educational seminars on the island to inform horse owners about ways in which they can improve their horses’ welfare.

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You can help animals like the horses on Taal volcano. Never participate in any activity that uses animals for profit while you’re on vacation or at home.