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.”

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Reichert calls the tours an “outdated form of entertainment,” and says the goal of protesting is to have open dialogues with members of the public about the industry.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

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read