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Reichert calls the tours an “outdated form of entertainment,” and says the goal of protesting is to have open dialogues with members of the public about the industry.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

Just Posted

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Expect rolling street closures, bus delays as truck convoy moves through region Saturday

The annual Truck Light Convoy will roll through the region starting at 5:45 p.m.

UPDATED: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins found

Atkins was found by Sooke RCMP on Saturday morning

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Most Read