Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

Horse-drawn carriages no longer have a right to operate in Asheville, N.C., following a City Council vote last week that repealed a 1990 ordinance allowing them on city streets, and that’s something to cheer about!

While not a particularly large industry in Asheville—there is only one operator currently—it is the perfect example of how this outdated needless industry is being questioned on a national level and how animal advocates can ensure it doesn’t gain any footholds.

Asheville’s current carriage operator, which started providing tours of the city in 2013, has to phase the business out within the next two years.
Spurred by pleas from animal rights activists, the City Council had been monitoring the business the last three years. Those who were against the horse-carriage operation pointed to increased vehicular traffic downtown over the last three years and other safety concerns as reasons why horse-drawn carriages no longer make sense in an urban setting.

Activists also drew comparisons of horse-drawn carriages with animal circus performances, which are now banned in Asheville as well.

We would hope that this decision by Asheville would highlight the urgent need to enact similar legislation in NYC, where we have been fighting to get city carriage horses off busy streets and into sanctuaries. We address the current state of the NYC carriage-horse industry in our spring Action Line article, “FoA to Mayor deBlasio: Keep Your Promise” available here.
Unbelievable. We have a gigantic #jeer today for the woman who was caught on video petting a wild bison near a lodge in Yellowstone National Park. A family enjoying the park’s opening weekend Saturday noticed an unidentified woman slowly walked right up to one of the 1,400-pound animals and pulled out their phones to record the whole event.

The park hasn’t even been open to visitors for a month yet and already tourists are making risky, dangerous and just downright stupid decisions. According to reports, at least five people were gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in 2015 alone.That is just one of the reasons visitors are not allowed to come within 75 feet of the very large animals.

Yellowstone National Park responded to the incident on social media saying “Wildlife should not be approached, regardless of how tame or calm they appear. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors must give it a wide berth and keep the required minimum distances of 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.”

It’s important to remember that you are the one invading an animal’s space while in the wild (or really anywhere) and if they feel threatened by your presence, there’s a good chance they will attempt to protect themselves.