Mayor and Town Council Urged to Reject Move to Allow Cruel and Dangerous Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2018
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Telluride, Colo. – After learning that the Telluride Town Council proposed an ordinance recently that would allow horse-drawn carriage rides to operate within the town, PETA rushed a letter to the mayor, mayor pro tem, and town council members urging them to reject the proposal––which is scheduled for a vote on May 29––on cruelty and public-safety grounds.
“Telluride’s town council should never allow any business that would force skittish horses to haul heavy carriages on chaotic town streets,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Today’s kind public wants nothing to do with businesses that exploit animals, and PETA is calling on Telluride to join Breckenridge, Colorado; Palm Beach, Florida; Salt Lake City; and the many other cities across the country that have banned these cruel and archaic operations.”
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.
The letter—written by a PETA veterinarian and Telluride resident—to Telluride’s mayor, mayor pro tem, and town council follows.
May 10, 2018
The Honorable Sean Murphy, Mayor of Telluride
The Honorable Todd Brown, Mayor Pro Tem
Town Council Members
Dear Mayor Murphy, Mr. Brown, and Town Council Members,
I’m writing as a longtime Telluride resident and a veterinarian for PETA—and on behalf of our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including more than 81,000 in Colorado—to urge you to reject the ordinance that would allow horse-drawn carriage rides in Telluride.
Despite claims from those who profit from them, horse-drawn carriages don’t represent a nostalgic trip back to bygone days—they’re cruel to the horses, and they pose a serious threat to both animals and humans. As you know, horses are forced to pull oversized loads and breathe in searing exhaust fumes, and they often suffer from serious leg and hoof ailments caused by pulling heavy weight on hard pavement.
Horses and traffic can be a deadly combination. Skittish, sensitive, and easily “spooked,” most horses aren’t comfortable working among cars and trucks. Many accidents, injuries, and even deaths have occurred after horses became startled and ran amok. Telluride also has a large population of dogs, who could easily startle the horses. This would be disastrous, as pedestrians, children, or dogs could be trampled, not to mention the fate of the horse.
In Willmar, Minnesota, for example, two horses pulling a carriage were spooked and took off running for a mile with 15 passengers aboard, most of whom were children. The carriage eventually crashed, injuring several passengers, including the driver, who later died of his injuries. The liability risks to Telluride are very real. Please see this factsheet for dozens of other examples of the dangers of having horse-drawn carriages on the road.
Cities across the country, including Palm Beach, Florida, and Salt Lake City, are busy banning these archaic operations, not permitting them. Please don’t put animals, visitors, and residents at risk. Rejecting this throwback to a cruel, bygone era would be in line with the public’s ever-increasing intolerance for exploiting animals for entertainment.
May we please hear that you’ll reject this ordinance and keep cruel horse-drawn carriages out of Telluride? Thank you for your time and attention.
Dr. Christine Capaldo
Foundation to Support Animal Protection