For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Kingman, Ariz. – An alarming new message from PETA aimed at tourists headed to the Havasupai Trail is drawing attention to the plight of horses and mules who are forced to carry visitors’ packs along the grueling 20-mile round-trip Havasu Falls hike.
“As long as these animals are used to haul heavy loads up steep switchbacks, reports of their injuries and deaths will continue to mount,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging travelers to carry their own gear on the Havasupai Trail, helping to end the cruel treatment that these horses and mules have endured for years.”
The Havasupai Trail reopened to tourists in February for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and already travelers have reported about a dozen incidents of animal suffering to local group SAVE Havasupai Horses, including a dead horse left on the ground, animals with open wounds, a mule whipped in the face, and animals forced up steep and rocky trails. Before the pandemic shutdown, a PETA video exposé showed horses being whipped, mules slipping in the mud, and many animals left sweating and panting from the arduous journey. Some of them had sores and scars, limped, or had overgrown hooves, and several were underweight, including a young horse whose ribs were visible.
PETA’s billboard is located on E. Andy Devine Avenue, which runs alongside historic Route 66, about 3 miles southwest of Kingman Municipal Airport. A second billboard has been placed on I-17 in Phoenix.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.