On 26th September 2022, animal rights activists protested outside Philadelphia’s City Hall to call for an end to the use of horses to pull carriages through the city, mostly run by 76 Carriage Company.

Stephanie Curson, Ban Horse Carriages Philadelphia Co-Founder, said, “Our goal is to permanently ban horse-drawn carriages In Philadelphia and retire these horses to reputable sanctuaries where they can live out their lives out in peace…This will help end the auction-to-carriage pipeline and hopefully save horses in the future from being forced into these dangerous working conditions.” Stuart Mitchell, a New York City poet, read this poem during the protest: “My anguish, my longing for past years, seen unseen, my desire to run free, free from the restraints of mobility, free from my abusers in the harness of hopelessness and the unforgiving rays of sunlight that bear down on me.”

Jacqueline Sadashige of PETA told WHYY, “No sugarcoating, no hiding the facts. Horse-drawn carriages are outdated. They are dangerous, and they are cruel, and City Council needs to ban them.” Jodie Wiederkehr,  the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Alliance for Animals (CAA) and the Partnership to Ban Horse Carriages Worldwide, said the following regarding the animal abuse she witnessed in horse-drive carriages in Chicago: “All the horses were overworked. They were rarely taken to the water bucket to be allowed to drink water. The operators routinely broke the law. They would go through red lights…I would see carriage drivers looking down on their phone as they were going through very busy intersections on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.”  

Mark Squilla, a Philadelphia City Council member, has been working on a bill to ban the carriages, but it has not been presented yet to the Council. Perhaps this demonstration will accelerate the process and help to convince the councillors that people in Philadelphia, as people in New York, want to stop these antiquated cruel practices as other cities have already done.  

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.