Philadelphia last remaining horse-drawn carriage operator has emptied its stables, which may be I sign that perhaps animal rights activists that have been campaigning for a ban on this cruel form of transport may be advancing in their cause. However, an official of the company who answered the phone on 17th January 2023 insisted the company is not closing and that horses will be back on the streets in the spring.

The site of the stables for 76 Carriage Company’s off-duty horses is now being turned into apartments, and the company temporarily stopped offering tourists horse-drawn carriage rides through parts of Old City. In 2017, the city shuttered the operator Philadelphia Carriage Company over unsafe conditions in their stables, leaving 76 Carriage Company as the only horse-drawn carriage operator in the city.

Stephanie Curson, the co-founder of the group Ban Horse Carriages Philadelphia, said in an email to WHYY, “we have been tirelessly working on this ban for over two years by documenting numerous violations, holding protests and rallies, and meeting with officials from City Council.” Tiffany Stair, of Revolution Philadelphia, said she doesn’t believe 76 Carriage Company will return because “the site where the stables were on Hancock Street had been sold for two years, so they had plenty of time to set up shop elsewhere.” 

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. 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 because he apparently is looking for a viable alternative — as he does not believe the options presented so far will work in the city.

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’.