The Gili Islands, which is part of Indonesia and close to Bali, are three small, beautiful tropical paradise islands with no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace.
Sounds lovely right? Wrong!
It is also the home of the long suffering and poorly treated carriage horses who work long hours, are emaciated, have little rest, little water or medical care. They have no pasture in which to graze. They live a miserable existence because their owners do not know how to care for them properly. They are money makers, worked to the bone and then discarded and replaced when they cannot pull any more.
Please see this recent video 6/9/2010.
The images of these long suffering carriage horses should be an embarrassment to local leaders, the Minister of Tourism and the hotel owners. It reflects badly on all them whether or not they have any direct connection to this horse trade. We know that %u201Cimprovements%u201D do not happen easily and they do not work. Horses are docile living beings and will always be in a position to be exploited. The enforcement would be costly for the government and a waste of resources.
According to a local animal rights groups, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, a survey indicated that many tourists are very upset by the poor treatment of the horses and cut their trips short. The more this issue is advertised around the world through the Internet, the more people will learn about the condition in which the Gili Islands keeps its horses and will choose not to go there.
It is time to shut this inhumane industry down and substitute it with something that is 21st century, charming and green %u2013 PEDICABS. They are currently seen in New York, Rome and other cities and are very popular with tourists. The horses must be given to a sanctuary and allowed to live out their lives in peace.
Business leaders in the Gili Islands should invest in a pedicab business, which will shuttle tourists around. Carriage drivers will not lose their jobs and can be retrained to operate pedicabs. It will be a win win all around.
We, the undersigned, ask those who represent these interests to take the advice of this petition and shut this industry down.
As potential tourists we take the pledge not to visit the Gili Islands or Indonesia until this issue is resolved in favor of the horses and will tell others to do the same. There are many more humane vacation spots in the world that will get our business.