At the end of April this year, Chicago City Council voted to ban all horse-drawn carriages from the city, effective 1 January 2021. Animal welfare groups have been campaigning for this move for years, highlighting the threat to the welfare of the animals, continuously subjected as they are - given the dense traffic congestion in the city - to serious pathologies, notably respiratory problems, and the development of lameness.
Chicago joins other cities which have already banned the use of carriages in the USA, among them Salt Lake City and Biloxi in Mississippi, Camden in New Jersey and Key West, Palm Beach, Pompano Beach and Treasure Island in Florida.
PETA and the Chicago Alliance for Animals commented that the decision confirms a significant victory for horses: they have been documenting for years
how horses are pulling very heavy carriages along boiling hot asphalt surfaces, or through storms and blizzards, often even deprived of water.
We note that carriages have been banned in Montreal in Canada since January 2020.
We can only hope now that there will soon be a concrete change in Italy, that there is now a glimmer of a possibility of getting the same ban on this hard labour forced upon horses, on this anachronistic tradition. A glimmer of hope that the mounting objections and growing protests by welfare groups and public opinion will finally be heard.