A one-year moratorium has been placed on horse-drawn carriages, or calèches, operating in Montreal, Quebec. The announcement was made by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre on May 17th.
Coderre says the one-year ban will allow lawmakers time to examine the issue and make changes to ensure the welfare of the horses and safety of citizens, or to enact a permanent ban. In an online broadcast of an executive committee meeting, Coderre said, “I’m not at all satisfied with the way things have been going with horse-drawn carriages. The best option is to start from scratch.”
An incident in April, in which a horse got away from its driver and was hit by a car, prompted this most recent review of the industry, leading to the decision.
Last year, Coderre called for a report on the health of carriage horses in Montreal after photos of a horse that had slipped and fallen in the street near a construction site starting make the rounds online. The incident was deemed to be an unfortunate accident.
Operators will be reimbursed for their 2016 licenses. However, the 24 teams that operate out of Luc Desparois’ stable will just have to wait to hear their fate.
In the meantime, Galahad, a Quebec-wide network of 200 horse sanctuaries, has stepped up to offer to find homes for any carriages horses in need, in the hopes of preventing any from going to slaughter.
A report by CBC says that the city of Charlottetown is not planning to follow Montreal’s lead, and will be sticking with its carriages.