A video of a horse collapsed in the street in Old Montreal on Monday has gone viral, renewing calls for a ban on the calèche industry.
According to witnesses, the mare lay on her side for approximately 10 minutes, unresponsive to the attempts of the driver and other men to rouse her, before getting up on her own.
The mare’s owner Luc Desparois, of Lucky Luc calèches, said 15-year-old Cocette is in good health, and has been pulling carriages in the area since 2010. Veterinary records indicated that the mare was overweight in 2016, but no other concerns were noted, and she was found to be in good health in August.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said at a news conference on Tuesday that he is waiting to receive a full report before commenting on the incident. He stated, however, that early reports indicated the horse’s collapse was related to fatigue.
Early last month, Montreal introduced amendments to the city’s calèche industry regulations, including limiting a horse’s working day to nine hours and preventing horses from working in temperatures above 28 ℃. Coderre noted that the temperature was 24℃ on Monday.
An ongoing petition to ban the use of calèches in Quebec City has collected more than 37,000 signatures, and the SPCA is asking people to sign a letter to Coderre asking him to ban the calèche industry.