This afternoon, the City of Montreal announced the adoption of a by-law prohibiting the use of horse-drawn carriages, or calèches, in Montreal’s downtown core. The by-law will come into effect on December 31, 2019.

In a press release the Montreal SPCA said:

“The Montreal SPCA wishes to congratulate Mayor Valérie Plante and Projet Montreal for adopting this long-awaited measure. By putting an end to this antiquated and inhumane industry, Montreal will be following the lead of several other world-class cities, such as London, Paris, Beijing and Toronto.

“Carriage horses are often forced to work nine or more hours per day, seven days a week, are subject to potential collisions with vehicles, loud noises that can spook them (and also endanger humans in their vicinity), extreme temperatures and years of walking on unnaturally hard surfaces, which often causes lameness.”

Attorney Alanna Devine, director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA, said: “The Montreal SPCA has been fighting against the use of horses downtown for nearly 150 years. The end of this industry represents an important victory for our organization and demonstrates just how much our relationship with animals is evolving.”

The phase-out period would allow the City of Montreal to work with horse owners, the Montreal SPCA, and horse rescues and sanctuaries to place all the horses in homes adapted to their needs, where they will be able to live out a peaceful retirement.

“The Montreal SPCA already has a solid network of foster homes and horse rescues and would be more than willing to help with proper placement of the city’s carriage horses, as we have already done for some individuals in the past,” said Elise Desaulniers, executive director of the Montreal SPCA. “We hope to have the opportunity to work with the city and rescue groups to place these horses with loving and attentive caretakers.”