The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has bought electric vehicles to be used on the Princes’ Islands (Adalar), off Istanbul’s coast, after a ban on horse-drawn carriages as a result of the killing of dozens of horses due to an outbreak of glanders and years-long animal rights activism against what advocates called the ill-treatment of horses.
Two different types of electric vehicles are expected to come into service this week.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said on Dec. 23, 2019 that the Princes’ Islands would no longer offer visitors horse-drawn carriage rides, undoubtedly the islands’ most popular tourist attraction.
A significant number of residents of Istanbul and animal lovers are happy that electric vehicles are put into service after the banning of horse-drawn carriages, which were the only means of transportation.
Photos shared on social media had stirred the anger of the public, seeing the horses trying to climb steep slopes in the summer heat and dying due to thirst and neglect.
Hundreds of horses working on the islands were dying every year. A report from the AFP prepared by journalists who visited the stables exposed that the conditions horses lived in were terrible. Bones of dead horses were found nearby.
“Veteran horses will no longer be left to die,” one user tweeted, referring to the horses collapsing and dying while drawing a carriage.
But there are some who are not satisfied with the introduction of electric vehicles due to their appearances.
“It could have been more authentic. I saw more of those similar to phaeton abroad. We are very pleased with the island, but it should have been more nostalgic,” said Murat Horman, a Büyükada resident.
For more than three years, Wiederkehr and the Chicago Alliance for Animals documented that horses were frequently denied water and forced to pull carriages in heavy traffic through extreme heat, thunderstorms, and blizzards. She lobbied lawmakers to support the ban, and now that it’s passed, she is liaising with reputable sanctuaries to arrange homes for the horses—if their owners choose to grant them a peaceful retirement.
“Horses have a true ally in Jodie Wiederkehr, whose unwavering commitment and compassion have helped make Chicago the largest city in the country to shut down the cruel carriage industry,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is recognizing her for getting sensitive horses off the streets and for making the Windy City a more humane place for animals.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview— hopes this will now ramp up the pressure on New York City, where a horse used for carriage rides died in Central Park earlier this year.
We are grateful PETA have honored Ms Wiederkehr. She is not receiving due credit for her work in Chicago. She accomplished this; no one else. Follow Jodie Wiederkehr on Twitter https://twitter.com/jodiewiederkehr.
Note: The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Featured Image:Getty Images. Not filed with this Press Release.
City Council votes to pull horse-drawn carriages off the streets of Chicago by year end
CHICAGO (Apr. 24, 2020) — Horse-drawn carriages in Chicago will be a thing of the past after City Council voted 46-4 Friday to ban them by the end of the year.
For years, animal rights activists and some aldermen have tried to ban horse-drawn carriages, citing traffic congestion downtown, multiple citations from the city and animal welfare concerns. The carriages are often stationed at Chicago Water Tower and other points around the city, and take tourists on rides around the Loop, Millennium Park, and Buckingham Fountain.
The ordinance passed by the Council Friday, which was first approved by the city’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection in March, will effectively pull carriages off the road by Jan. 1. Operators will not be able to renew their licenses, and the city will stop issuing new ones. The city’s 10 existing carriage licenses, each of which has a $500 annual fee, will expire at the end of the year.
Friday’s vote took place even though several groups made last-minute attempts to delay it.
The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois and the Cook Country Farm Bureau each asked aldermen not to vote on the issue and work instead to find a compromise.
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, running carriage rides in Victoria for 117 years, suspended operations March 19 after closed borders and travel restrictions effectively shut down the city’s tourism industry.
On a GoFundMe page, the business says it’s facing the “harsh reality” that it will experience 12 months with no income. Now Tally-Ho is asking for the public’s help to care for its “18 magnificent draft horses.”
Here are suggested sums of money Tally-Ho are asking for as reported by Victoria Buzz:
Sponsor a Tally-Ho horse – pick your favorite: $600/month Adopt the Tally-Ho herd for a day: $350 One regular vet visit – an important check-up: $200 One farrier visit – time for toes: $100 One bag of grain – super food for horses: $20
The Victoria Horse Alliance, a longstanding group opposing the carriages, is not pleased by Tally-Ho’s call out for help.
Founder Jordan Reichert called the fundraiser “unconscionable.”
“There are sanctuaries rescuing animals from abusive situations that need funds now more than ever. Meanwhile, an over 100-year-old for-profit business that exploits animals for profit is opportunistically trying to exploit people’s love for animals during a crisis to line their own pockets,” he said in a news release. “Every business and every individual across Canada needs funds right now; donating to a horse carriage business should not be a priority during this difficult time.”
The alliance says it’s “willing to work with the carriage companies to find homes for the horses if they cannot afford them, but only if they agree to phase out and shut down their operations permanently.”