Approximately eight animal rights activists walked peacefully besides the carriages for two hours on Sunday, in an aim to educate would-be customers about why the group opposes the “exploitation” of the horses. According to Tom Walker, general manager of Victoria Carriage Tours, the protesters are more of a “nuisance than anything.”

Animal rights activists not affecting business, says Victoria Carriage Tours

Victoria Horse Alliance trot out annual Trolley Walk on Sunday

Animal right activists took part in their annual Trolley Walk this weekend, protesting the horse-drawn carriage tours that have become a Christmas tradition in Victoria.

Approximately eight people walked peacefully besides the carriages for two hours on Sunday, in an aim to educate would-be customers about why the group opposes the “exploitation” of the horses.

Jordan Reichert, with the Victoria Horse Alliance, says the reaction from passersby was mostly positive with lots of waves, thanks and honks in support. Reichert says he saw the least amount of people riding in the trolleys than he has in the past several years and takes that as a positive sign.

Tom Walker, general manager of Victoria Carriage Tours, says the protesters aren’t affecting business “at all” and called them more of a “nuisance than anything.”

READ ALSO: Victoria considers limiting where horse-drawn carriages can go

“It’s a shame a minority of people can make such a stink,” he says.

The carriages have been a contentious topic for years, with a spur in push back prompted in 2018 by a viral video that showed working horses struggling to get up after taking a tumble near Ogden Point. A motion put forward by Coun. Ben Isitt, purposing the tours be phased out, brought the debate back into the light this past summer.

Reichert calls the tours an “outdated form of entertainment,” and says the goal of protesting is to have open dialogues with members of the public about the industry.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: BC SPCA recommends ban of horse-drawn carriages from downtown Victoria streets

Currently horse-drawn trolley rides are free each Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. until Dec. 22 thanks to a sponsorship with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA). Jeff Bray, executive director, says the DVBA has been following the discussions in council and supports the horse-drawn carriages, but adds there are no commitments in place to sponsor the event next year.

“For us, the only solution is to get them off the city streets,” says Reichert.

In September, the BCSPCA put forward recommendations to city council, stating they “do not have a position or statement saying that a horses’s welfare can’t be met by being a working horse,” adding there’s an “opportunity to meet the five freedoms, and what that looks like is up for discussion.”

The BCSPCA’s five freedoms include freedom from hunger and thirst; from pain, injury and disease; from distress; from discomfort, and the freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read