Animal Aid

Letter to Westminster Council

Posted 30 August 2007

Danny Chalkley
Westminster City Council
P.O. Box 240
Westminster City Hall
64 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QP

August 13, 2007

Dear Mr Chalkley,

I am writing about the report that Westminster City Council may introduce horse-drawn carriages as a tourist attraction. Animal Aid would strongly advise against such a venture on animal welfare grounds and I enclose a copy of our brief report, Being Taken For A Ride: The case against horse-drawn vehicles for tourism. You will see that the risks to both horses and members of the public are significant:

  • Horses are at increased risk of lameness when walking on tarmac.
  • Vehicle exhaust emissions have an adverse affect on horses’ respiratory systems.
  • Horses may suffer heat stress, colic and/or dehydration as a result of their working patterns and environment.
  • The stop-go pattern further raises the risk of equine myoglobinuria - a potentially fatal condition.
  • Both horses and people are at risk should a horse become ‘spooked’ - something inevitable in the noise and chaos of a city centre.

We also have concerns about the wellbeing of horses once they are ‘retired’ from working.

Please do read the enclosed report and, of course, get in touch if you have any queries or would like to meet to discuss the issue further. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Tyler

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