Animal Aid

HORSES DON'T BELONG ON CITY STREETS - Sign our e-petition

Posted 1 June 2001

On July 16, Oxford City Council will vote on a plan to introduce horse-drawn omnibuses to the streets of Oxford, England.

Please sign the petition now and ask your family and friends to sign it too.

Dear Oxford City Council

I am deeply concerned to hear that the council is considering the introduction of a byelaw that would allow horse-drawn omnibuses on Oxford's streets. Such a development would put the lives and well-being of horses directly under threat - and experience in other cities shows that the public, too, is at risk of being injured, and even killed, through accidents. The introduction of horse-drawn vehicles to Oxford's streets would reflect badly on a great city's reputation for animal welfare and pedestrian safety. Oxford is renowned for its historic buildings, museums and shops. Visitors will not be impressed by the pitiful spectacle of exhausted horses pulling omnibuses, in all weathers. I personally would boycott any city that allows horses and its citizens to be put at risk for a tourism venture. And I ask that the city council rejects the proposed byelaw that would allow horse-drawn omnibuses on Oxford's streets.

Please include any additional message here:

Yours faithfully

Your name:

Email:

Town & country:

THE PETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Your email will be sent directly to Marion Headicar, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council and will be copied to the local MP Andrew Smith. If you think such a development would be a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era, then read these headlines...

BOLTING CARRIAGE HORSE HURTS 2... RUNAWAY HORSE BASHES TOURIST, BOLTS AND INJURES PEDESTRIAN... CARRIAGE HORSE GOES OUT OF CONTROL, COLLAPSES AND DIES... CARRIAGE RIDE TURNS INTO A BRONCO BUST... 10 YEAR OLD BOY KILLED WHEN HORSE DRAWN WAGON OVERTURNS... CAR DRIVER AND HORSE KILLED IN CRASH...

These headlines originate from the USA, but anyone of these horrific incidents could happen on the streets of Oxford if a new byelaw were to be passed allowing horse-drawn omnibuses.

Driving horses to ill health

Whether pounding the streets in busy traffic or operating in pedestrianised areas, experience in other cities shows that horses pay a heavy price for this tourist gimmick.

Studies conducted in the United States reveal that carriage horses suffer enormous lung damage as a consequence of living a 'nose to tailpipe' existence. Tracheal washes and samples from the respiratory secretions of these horses show the same signs of damage you would expect in a heavy smoker.

Serious accidents

There are also numerous documented cases of both animal and human injuries, sometimes fatal, after carriage horses have become 'spooked'. A survey of carriage horse accidents in the US revealed that:

… 85 per cent of all accidents were the result of an animal 'spooking'
… 70 per cent of these accidents there was a human injury
… 22 per cent of cases there was a human death.

Injuries and fatalities resulting from collisions between cars and carriage horses have occurred in almost every city in the US which allows carriage rides.

Cities say NO!

Major cities like London, Paris and Toronto have said NO to horse-drawn vehicles for tourism. In the US, residents have successfully campaigned for bans on the trade - the accidents and cost of enforcing regulations have been a taxpayers' nightmare.

For further background information, read our Being Taken for a Ride: The case against horse-drawn vehicles for tourism.

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