There are renewed calls to ban the calèche industry in the city after a video of a horse collapsed in Old Montreal has gone viral.
The video shows the horse lying on the ground without any reaction while the driver and other men are trying to get it back on its feet.
“During those 10 minutes, it was a weird feeling that everything was wrong about this scene,” witness Simon Marceau-Pelletier told Global News.
“Especially since the weather was very comfortable I think it was like 22-24 degrees so it was not about the temperature. The horse must’ve collapsed maybe it was too tired.”
The SPCA says this incident further proves that current regulations are not enough.
“The regulations don’t address the key welfare issues related to the use of horses to pull carriages in congested, busy downtown streets,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
“Horses simply don’t belong downtown.”
The SPCA is also asking people to send a letter to the mayor asking him to outright ban calèches.
This incident comes just two weeks after the city passed its new regulations on the industry.
It forbids drivers using their animals if the weather is above C28 and imposes a maximum of nine hours of daily work.
But the city’s official opposition wants to see more done.
Projet Montréal’s Valérie Plante tweeted: “It’s revolting… Let’s pull the plug on this inhumane industry.”
Councillor Justine McIntyre says she’d like to see a fade-out of the industry.
“It’s no longer in line with the branding of the city,” McIntyre told Global News.
Owner of the horse speaks out
Luc Desparois, the owner of Lucky Luc calèches, owns the horse, Cocotte.
He says there is another side to the story: Cocotte didn’t collapse.
“The horse just fell asleep. She just had a snooze on the stand and she went down,” Desparois said.
“It’s all lies. It’s not true,” Desparois said of the allegations that the horse looked tired.
Witnesses say 10 minutes later Cocotte got back on its feet and went back to the stable.
Desparois insists there’s nothing wrong with her.
“The horse is fine. I went to see her last night, the vet checked her this morning. All sorts of people checked the animal.”
The mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, says a report of the incident is in the works.