PETA wants Mayor Sam Adams
today to ban "cruel, dangerous horse-drawn carriages"
in Portland. The traditional image of weddings and Central Park has lost some of its romanticism since a horse dropped dead Aug.1
while pulling Portland newlyweds around downtown. Balatour, the 23-year-old horse, reportedly died from a heart attack in the 90 plus degree heat.
voices concern in its letter to Adams for both the horses and public safety, which it says can be at risk when "cumbersome carriages are pulled by frightened, unpredictable animals." Balatour may have marked the first such horse death in Portland. But PETA, which has weighed in before on local issues
, says the death is part of a larger global trend.
"This incident should be a wake-up call for the city, and we urge officials to ban these rides before the next horse dies a painful death," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy.
A press release from PETA cites Biloxi, Miss. and Camden, N.J. among the U.S. municipalities that have enacted such bans against carriage rides — not exactly tourist hotspots, but a trot toward equidae