Rome’s horse drawn botticelle to move to parks

Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.
Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.

(ANSA.IT) ROME, ITALY — Rome’s famed ‘botticelle’ horse-drawn tourist carriages are to move from the streets of the Italian capital to its villas’ parks under a measure passed by the environmental committee on Tuesday, 25 September.

The move is set to be put to final approval by the mobility committee “within the first few days of October”, sources said.

“Among the key aims of the measure is to avoid all suffering to the horses, taking the botticelle activities to more suitable locations like parks and historic villas,” said the head of the Rome environmental committee, Daniele Diaco of the ruling anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

It will also be possible for drivers to switch jobs and apply for taxi licenses, he said.

Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.

Animal rights groups have long complained that the horses are subject to too much stress and strain on Rome’s hot cobbled streets.

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In pictures

Too much stress and strain? Hot cobbled streets? Yes, we agree. However, that’s only the beginning of what these horses suffer. Pictures say a thousand words. Look familiar?

Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Un cavallo a terra per un malore davanti a Palazzo Chigi, Roma 30 ottobre 2014. ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion waiting for his next trip, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.

Where do the horses live? The same type of miserable conditions, totally unnatural for a horse, as any other carriage horse in any other city. This is a worldwide system of abuse.

Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse "Inventore" before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse “Inventore” before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse "Inventore" arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse “Inventore” arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

We can’t use this image linked here without paying for it, but it shows what the typical stall looks like.

Ban Horse Drawn Carriages

Even with moving Rome’s carriage horses to park like settings, the horses will still be working in the same weather conditions, still living in the same crumbling buildings totally in situations totally unnatural to a horse, pulling heavy loads of tourists, and can still be spooked.

“Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.”

Here is the intended replacement for the horses.

Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.
Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.

This is the best we can hope for. However, what will happen to the horses? Turned into sausages no doubt, an Italian gastromic favourite.

Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.
Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.

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 »

 

Too hot to trot and more

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: A carriage horse eats by Central Park moments before all drivers were ordered to return to the stables due to heat on August 10, 2018 in New York City. According to New York City administrative code, all carriage horses used in tourism must immediately stop working and return to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Animal rights activists, who want to permanently end the carriage horse business in the city, say many drivers ignore the law or linger in the park looking for customers long after an alert has been issued. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 10: A carriage horse eats by Central Park moments before all drivers were ordered to return to the stables due to heat on August 10, 2018 in New York City. According to New York City administrative code, all carriage horses used in tourism must immediately stop working and return to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Animal rights activists, who want to permanently end the carriage horse business in the city, say many drivers ignore the law or linger in the park looking for customers long after an alert has been issued. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CARRIAGE HORSES) The carriage horse industry is a cruel and insidious business resulting in long term abuse, injury and even death to the horses used.

Carriage horse workers routinely claim they need no rules because they can self rule, that their horses are treated right, or that agreed on protective measures are already in place and all is well.

What’s ironic about these measures put into place by well meaning people, is that they are what a decent human being responsible for any animal would know that they should and should not do to provide proper care.

By all reports health and safety guidelines for carriage horses have not worked that we know of. Not even close, because they are not met nor are they enforced. They are largely ignored. So carriage horse workers continue to house and work horses as they have always done,  and the terrible life that carriage horses daily suffer goes on as before.

Case in point. Right now carriage horses are being worked in New York City during the current heat wave. This is going on in other cities as well. However, the issue caught the attention of One Green Planet, or should we say was brought to their attention — by NYCLASS.

The One Green Planet article is entitled, “WTH?! Visibly Uncomfortable Horse Forced to Carry Tourists During NYC Heat Advisory Shows Why Carriages Have to Go! (VIDEO)”. Yet further on in the article a ban is not called for, but more . . . you guessed it — reforms. Proposed by none other than NYCLASS.

Reforms are exactly what is NOT required.

The carriage horse trade in Manhattan and in cities around the country do what they damn well please in the face of whatever reforms and protective measures are in place.

Blessedly a few of the worst stables housing carriage horses have shut down in Manhattan, but only because they were forced to due to encroaching redevelopment. This was predicted.

Here are the City’s guidelines for Horses Working in NYC. You see no one is enforcing them or the carriage horses would not be on the streets working during this year’s dangerous heat waves.

Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. He finally collapsed in 98 degree heat and was unable to get up. He had to be dragged into a trailer and hauled back to the barn. After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died shortly thereafter. Image source: Peta.
Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. He finally collapsed in 98 degree heat and was unable to get up. He had to be dragged into a trailer and hauled back to the barn. After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died shortly thereafter. Image source: Peta.

BAN IT!

There is only one solution to end the day-to-day misery and abuse of carriage horses. We must ban the carriage horse trade in American cities. End of story.

While we are grateful that a few carriage horse businesses are dwindling and dying out because of groups like ours and concerned citizens like you who are raising our voices, we need to do more.

Please use social media to call for the ban of the the carriage horse trade in your area. Do it with us or someone like us, but please do it!

We are putting together a social media campaign. If you would like to help, please share your ideas in comments or email us with samples of attention grabbing slogans and statements and who you think should be targeted and where. If you have or can take pictures of carriage horses working in the heat in your area or while on vacation, please share them.

Thank you everyone!

Carriage horse collapses and is blamed for upsetting the people who jeopardized his life

ONE GREEN PLANET (Carriage Horses) — You know we live in a sad world when the story of a horse collapsing from exhaustion makes someone else the victim. The Daily Mail story on this carriage horse says the following: “A bride and groom’s special day took a tragic turn when the horse pulling their ornate wedding carriage collapsed with heat exhaustion.” That’s right folks, the bride and the groom faced the tragic circumstances because the animal they forced to drive them around fell down. It must have been awful for them not being able to be driven uphill by a horse.

This story isn’t about smearing the bride and groom. This story is about the bigger issue of carriage horses who are treated as inanimate objects as opposed to animals that live, feel, and breathe. This horse was pulling approximately 800 pounds, uphill, on a blazing, hot day in Italy. The poor animal eventually collapsed in the street, unable to pull the weight any longer. For more go here »

WATCH

YouTube video removed.

The Horse Fund does not want to hear any more apologists concerning the carriage horse trade. It is time — past time — to put a total stop to it. If that’s too radical for some, oh well. So be it. —Editor.