Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in Downtown Austin, Texas

  • by: Brenda Carey
  • recipient: Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council
This petition was created by a group of concerned citizens known as The Austin Equine Society. We have witnessed horses being forced to haul around tourists on the busy city streets of Austin Texas and cannot help but be very aware that this sort of thing just isn't natural or right. 

It is around 100 degrees on a daily basis for long stretches of time in the summer in Austin which makes for extremely hot pavement. Even at night after the sun sets (in the summer that is around 9pm) the black topped streets remain extremely hot. 

The heat in the summer is just one issue. Horses are forced to pull tourists in an area that was designed for motor vehicles. The streets contain numerous fast-moving motor vehicles. Traffic in Austin is notoriously increasing as more people make this lovely city their home. These drivers tend to be aggressive and rightly are not expecting to see horses pulling carriages in a downtown area in the year 2016.  The downtown Austin area is also known as "party central" for the city and thus there are numerous drunk drivers.

But the danger for the horses goes beyond actual collisions with these vehicles as they are forced into this unnatural situation. It is obvious to any observer with a critical mind that the horses are extremely stressed and perhaps overworked as they tend to move in an erratic fashion and push their bits out of their mouths in frustration. Their faces show their misery. 

All of this goes unnoticed by drunken tourists. Local Austinites are known for their loving kindness, including that for the representative of cowboy culture — the majestic horse. 

We believe that equines deserve better treatment than to be forced to haul tourists around on hot motor vehicle roadways. We the undersigned would like to see this practice outlawed.
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