Will Chicago say ‘nay’ to horse drawn carriages?

Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.
Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.

Multiple media outlets have covered how Chicago’s horse carriage companies are violating both Chicago’s Ordinance and the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act by overworking carriage horses, among other mistreatment. Will the City of Chicago ban horse drawn carriages? They have a great opportunity before them to do just that. Let’s see.

CBS Chicago reports:

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s downtown horse carriage rides may be forced to ride into the sunset.

Three aldermen are backing a move to eliminate the carriage rides before the winter holidays, with strong support from animal rights activists.

Danny Shugrue, the manager of Antique Coach and Carriages, says Chicago will not be the same without its iconic horse drawn carriages. “How many things are we going to drive out of the city where it’s just a generic thing? With no character left?” Shugrue questioned.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward) contends the horse carriages add cruelty, not character.

“They’ve not been able to regulate themselves and the city doesn’t have the resources to regulate them,” Ald. Ray Lopez stated. He is joining Ald. Brendan Reilly and Brian Hopkins, backing an ordinance that would bar carriage operators from renewing their licenses in November, essentially driving them out of business.

Animal activist Jodie Weiderker of Chicago Alliance for Animals points out, and the city confirmed, carriage operators received 334 citations and more than $20,000 in fines last year.

“We have witnessed and documented horses being overworked, sometimes as long as 12 plus hours, working horses when it’s been 90 degrees or hotter and also not providing water, many times,” Weiderker said.

A vote is set for the next City Council meeting. Read more; view video report »

No Vote

The City Council Committee declined to vote.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The fate of Chicago’s horse-drawn carriages will remain uncertain for a little while longer, after a City Council committee declined Wednesday to vote on an ordinance that would put them out of business.

Emma Mitts, chairwoman of the Committee on License and Consumer Protection, said she believes that given more time, a compromise can be worked out between foes of horse-drawn carriages in Chicago and the horse and carriage owners. The committee was considering a proposed ordinance that would bar horse-drawn carriage owners from renewing their licenses, putting them out of business in the city. Read more »

There is no compromise for cruelty. You have failed Ms Mitts. And this is not the first time the Chicago City Council has failed the horses on this issue.

Ridiculousness

The more things change the more they stay the same. Listen to this argument Committee chairwoman Mitts made:

“The decision by the committee not to vote followed three hours of often-emotional testimony from both sides. After testimony ended, Mitts expressed anger that she was being pressured to make a quick decision about the carriages when people are dying from violence in other parts of the city.” See Tribune story »

What? Sigh.

Create a Storm

Let’s show love for Chicago’s carriage horses and support the work Chicago Alliance for Animals is doing on their behalf.

Get out there on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and protest the continuance of horse drawn carriages in Chicago. You don’t have to be from the area. The carriage horse trade is tourist driven and the City of Chicago will not like getting bad publicity. Let’s put the heat on. Will you help?

Sample language. Use the first phrase always. The select from the rest. Hashtags and handles to follow. Peak hours for hashtagging #Chicago is 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST.

Ban horse drawn carriages Chicago. It’s dangerous and inhumane. Cruelty knows no regulation. Just ban it!

@ChiCouncil #chicouncil

#chicago #horses #carriagehorses #horsedrawncarriages

Or do something quick like this:

Ban horse drawn carriages #Chicago. @ChiCouncil

On Facebook go to one of Chicago’s top tourist pages https://www.facebook.com/ChooseChicago/ and leave a message. No threats, no bad language etc. Just a quick, simple message.

Let us know your ideas in comments or by email to info@horsefund.org.

Related Reading

Chicago refuses to enforce carriage horse laws, One Green Planet »

Chicago Alliance for Animals Facebook page »

 

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