New Billboard Warns Tourists: Horses Die on Havasupai Trail

PETA Ad Follows Video Exposé, Eyewitness Accounts of Horse Deaths, Neglect, and Suffering

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Kingman, Ariz. – PETA has placed a giant billboard en route to the Havasupai Trail that shows an overloaded horse collapsed under the weight of tourist gear—and urges tourists not to use animals to carry their equipment up and down the grueling 2,450-foot trail. This is the first of a series of billboards that will go up between now and next summer.

“Visitor after visitor has reported seeing wounded and overloaded horses and mules struggling to climb up the steep Havasupai Trail,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges people who want to hike, camp, swim, and enjoy the beauty of the falls to please carry their own gear and not contribute to these animals’ suffering.”

A PETA video exposé shows horses being whipped and mules slipping on the icy, muddy trail, and many animals were left sweating and panting from the arduous journey. One wrangler admitted that animals sometimes fall over the side of the trail. Some animals had sores and scars, some limped or had overgrown hooves, and several were underweight, including a young horse whose ribs were visible.

PETA has written to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Havasupai Tribe to urge them to take action to help the animals used on the trail. Most recently, PETA tipped them off to eyewitness video from October 7 showing horses with sores and others who appeared lame as well as animals strung together with rope tied around their necks—an especially cruel and dangerous practice that causes them to struggle and can choke those who have trouble keeping up. On October 13, a second eyewitness saw open wounds on horses, including one “about the size of a baseball.”

PETA’s billboard is located on Highway 66 at Thompson Avenue, near Kingman Airport and along the main route between Las Vegas and the Havasupai Trail.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist view that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind