Thursday, January 19, 2017

Farewell, sweet Adelia

On the night of New Year’s Eve 2016 Adelia died in her box stall alone and hurting. They say it was a colic. We say it was years of abuse that led to her death. She was an old horse, over 25 years spent serving humans. And like most caleche horses, she was not granted a retirement, instead she worked to death. She was driven by a coachman nicknamed Pyscho Phil, and we understand why after witnessing his violent tantrums and screaming in the ears of sweet Adelia as she pulled and did the best she could to serve her master...
Just a few days before Christmas, Mayor Coderre had announced a $500,000.00 + $90,000.00 investment into the caleche industry. The public doesn’t know this, but that public money will not be used to build a stable but a tent for the horses! It will also be employed to dress the coachmen in fancy uniforms, which they’ve stated they will refuse to wear. Must we remind the Mayor that the current bylaw already requires them to wear a uniform among many other more relevant things?
So what’s in it for the horses you might ask? Absolutely nothing. The bylaws will continue to not be enforced. All will remain the same. No improvement or protection for the horses’ well-being.
In the meantime Adelia died. MAPAQ and the City inspectors were not aware of her death until we informed them just like many other horses that have die unreported.
Adelia had been sick for years. She had many physical injuries, caused by her work pulling caleches and standing in a narrow box stall, where a cable once provoked a deep wound in her leg. She was rehabilitated at a rescue and then returned to work.
We don’t understand why an old and suffering horse was not retired. Who is to blame for this? I’d say first and foremost the City of Montreal, guilty of negligence and responsible for allowing these sensitive animals to be perpetually abused.

While three caleche horses, Ulysses, Blanko (the horse who spooked in Place d’Armes jumping a bench in 2015), and the very frail Charlie, were rescued in 2016, Adelia unfortunately was not one of them.
Farewell, sweet Adelia.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

16 Dead Horses (2009 - 2015)

For those who remain convinced that the Calèche industry is built on the premise of keeping Montreal’s history and heritage alive, who are drawn by its romantic appeal, who believe in the carefree happy life of a working carriage horse, let us invite you behind the scenes and into the reality of a working carriage horse. 

Behind the charm and romanticism falsely fabricated by decorated and colorful carriages, and horses bringing smiles to children’s faces who feed them carrots, lies the essence of the life of a horse exploited by an unmerciful industry; an industry which believes in cutting corners to maximize profits, which also manipulates sentiments, evades the system, and obscures the unsavory activities. The death of a horse is tragic. It is also inevitable. Horses get sick and pass on. 
The manner in which a sick or dying horse is handled is what needs to be exposed to the unsuspecting or uniformed. This report is a history of the horses that have died at the Montreal stables since 2009. It is up to you to draw your conclusions. Read more here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maximus, one of the many sick carriage horses

"We really set up a way to be able to monitor more attentively the health status of animals ...." declared by Anie Samson during the commission session on Oct. 6 2015.
The horse is Maximus and he has not been in good shape for a long time.
Watch and share the commission session. (see the mark of 12:00 - 26:00 - 41:16)
Please continue to send your comments here to MAPAQ

 >> <<


"On a vraiment mis en place une maniere de pouvoir surveiller de façon plus attentive l'état de santé des animaux...." déclaré par Anie Samson lors de la séance de commission le 6 octobre 2015.
Le cheval s'appelle Maximus et il n'a pas été en bonne forme pendant une longue période.
Regardez et partagez la séance de commission. (voir la marque de 12:00 - 26:00 - 41:16)
SVP continuez a envoyer vos commentaires au MAPAQ ici>> <<


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The city is no place for a horse


On Saturday, May 5th 2012, 1h00 pm, Hôtel de Ville, 275, rue Notre-Dame, Montreal, join the Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition to make sure that this unsafe and inhumane industry
has no future in this city.

Imagine if there were children as there often are in the calèche in yesterday's incident.  
Read article & view video:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Have a Calèche-free Easter

                                                                                         Jessie is one of the 65 calèche horses in Montréal

I hope you enjoy your Easter with family and friends and will allow our animal friends to do the same.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Campaign to Ban the Carriage Trade in Montréal

Anne Streeter is an unstoppable activist who campaigned endlessly for many years to get a ban on the calèches in Montréal. She co-founded "Action Anti-Calèche" in the late 80s which has now joined forces with the "Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition". The following account of her activism to end the carriage trade in Montréal proves that getting results requires devotion, consistency and patience. Thank you Anne & Jean!

Jean LeMarquand and I formed Action Anti -Caleche in 1989 and
organized our first demonstration that August in Old Montreal. We
appeared at City Hall and over the years petitioned three different
mayors (Dore, Bourque & Tremblay). Every summer we leafletted on
weekends - educating tourists and encouraging them not to support the

By-law 5405 pertaining to the carriage trade, mainly dealt with the
condition of the carriages, comportment of the drivers, routes etc.
There was virtually nothing in it for horses except that they should
not work more than nine consecutive hours. This was completely
ignored. We clocked horses doing double shifts, from noon until early
the following morning!

Over the years our pressure managed to upgrade the by-law twice.
Licenses were reduced from 65 to 25 and the temperature limit was
reduced from 32 to 30 celsius. These were significant gains under the
circumstances but we always lobbied for a ban.

This has been a discouraging exercise as the trade is so ingrained in
Montreal. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The horse
barns and trade take place in an area of the city that is rapidly
becoming gentrified. Real estate is expensive and development is on the move.
The carriage owners could conceivably truck their horses in daily but
that would be an expensive operation that probably doesn't make much
economic sense. 

A city counselor recently led me to believe that we
might not have a carriage trade within five years. Here's hoping!”

Action Anti-Calèche Flyers

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Calèche Horses Still Abused

This is an article that dates back to November 1991. Today the by-laws are still mostly concerned with fees and routes and the horses are still abused. The city never will be a place for a horse.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Natural Habitat of Horses

Horses have evolved to graze nearly constantly on grass. They prefer to be surrounded by wide open spaces and a blanket of grass. They could spend almost 20 hours a day as nomadic grazers. Horses live in herds in the wild with approximately a dozen horses in each group. Since horses are prey animals, they defend themselves in the wild by running away from predators such as mountain lions and wolves, therefore they prefer to live in areas that are widely open. Even domesticated horses will avoid spaces that are mostly closed in and choose shelters that only have one wall or a roof.

Their natural habitat is anywhere they have once roamed wild: prairies, forests, mountains, grasslands, steppes.

Horses need access to shelter (a runout shelter or a barn), a continual supply of water (either buckets/tubs that you fill or a natural pond or stream), hay or grass that is always available, and herd mates (other horses). They also need attention to their health, hooves, and grooming needs.

References: "Complete Book of Horses and Riding"; Judith Draper, Debby Sly, Sarah Muir; 2003 
For the calèche horses in Montréal the situation is quite different -- the horses live in a building that was supposed to be destroyed this spring for insalubrity, as you can see in these photos. (click on them to view)

Just something to think about before you take your tour de calèche à Montréal...
Join us on Facebook!
And don't miss the film "Saving America's Horses"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Calèches Working in the Heat

The calèches were out and working today at 1 p.m. -- it was already 31°C and the humidex at 43%. It felt like 37°C. The Police and the inspectors have been informed and hopefully serious action will be taken towards the drivers. As I was taking these pictures, I was verbally assaulted by the drivers and an owner. It's appalling to know that these horses are in the hands of such violent and vulgar people. If they were hoping to discourage me, it didn't work -- now I'm even more driven.

 This calèche driver above actually offered me a tour ride, when I kindly inquired about whether he was leaving...

“An owner operator may not leave a horse hitched to a vehicle between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. when the outside air temperature, as determined by Environment Canada at the Dorval Weather Office, reaches or exceeds 30°C”

If you witness anything:
1)TAKE THE  NUMBER OF THE CALECHE (it's on the plate at the back of the caleche)
3)CONTACT THE EMERGENCY NUMBERS (you'll find them on the right of this blog)
4)TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEOS (send them to the emails on the right and to us as well)

Thank you!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Horses Jazzed Up for the Fest

Filming this video today was heart-breaking, as you can see. Yet, this is how the horses are fed -- with a bucket hanging over their heads. Not to mention I was in the calèche pick-up area for a while and no water was in sight the whole time.
Furthermore, the horses are being over-worked more than usual this week-end, as many tourists swarm the city for the Jazz Fest.
It's even more saddening to see that the children are not being taught by their parents how abusive this industry is. But actually put them in danger should the horse get spooked. In this case they could be flung out and injured at the least, as has occurred in the past.
Also notice that the by-law allows not more than 1 person per seat. There are more than that in this calèche and even more in the one passing by in the background.

The horses and the calèches are ridiculously adorned for the occasion, but that certainly  doesn't make the reality any more beautiful for the horses.

Please, if you witness anything speak up, takes pictures, videos and send them to us. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The by-law needs to be changed

These are some pictures and a video that I took today in Old Montréal. Click on them to view.
It was very hot and humid this afternoon in Old Montréal - the temperatures reached and exceeded 30°C between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. although it felt like 40°C with the humidex.

Sadly, the calèches were out on the streets as the by-law 
concerning horse-drawn carriages states:
“An owner operator may not leave a horse hitched to a vehicle between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. when the outside air temperature, as determined by Environment Canada at the Dorval Weather Office, reaches or exceeds 30°C”.


The problem with the by-law is:
1) the temperature in Old Montréal exceeds that of Dorval. Which means when it's 30°C in Dorval, it's a least a couple of degrees higher in Old Montréal...just like today.
2) and that the humidex is not even factored in. 

The by-law obviously needs to be changed for the horses' well-being. Luckily, few tourists were in sight and none were lined up for a calèche ride due to the high temperatures.

Let's not sit and watch as another horse dies!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help Ban the Calèches in Montréal

The picture on the flyer is of the calèche horse, Jim, euthanised on the streets of Québec City in July 2010. It was not the first time that Jim collapsed due to extreme fatigue.

June 4th is Horses Without Carriages International Day.
Please help spread the awareness by forwarding the flyer above 
to everyone!