Paris to ban pony rides in metropolis parks

A toddler takes a pony experience on the Parc Monceau, Paris, France, August 16, 2023, credit score: Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

The French metropolis of Paris has introduced a ban on pony rides for kids in its public parks, efficient from 2025. The choice follows a protracted marketing campaign by animal rights activists who witnessed poor remedy of the ponies.

Pony rides have been a preferred attraction in numerous Paris parks, such because the Champ de Mars, Parc Monceau, and Parc du Luxembourg, sometimes out there on weekends and through faculty holidays.

“Our affiliation calls for that town of Paris cease authorizing pony rides as a result of ponies should not toys,” stated Amandine Sansivens, co-founder of the animal rights group Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ).

She emphasised that ponies used for these rides are sometimes seen as easy leisure objects for kids, who sometimes experience for 100-200 meters and don’t study something substantial in regards to the animals or their wants: “We’ve been sounding the alarm for one and half years, and we now have recorded main and repeated shortcomings.”

Sansivens identified particular shortcomings in how ponies are cared for: “The code (of animal welfare), for instance, says that each pony should have entry to water and hay often, however in actuality, this isn’t the case, there isn’t sufficient water and hay for each animal. Transport time should not exceed two hours per day. We came upon that one firm transports (the ponies) for as much as six hours per day. That is unacceptable. “

PAZ initiated a petition demanding an finish to pony rides, which acquired greater than 8,400 signatures. Responding to this name, metropolis corridor determined to section out the experience operators’ licenses, marking an finish to this Parisian custom.

Stephane Michaud, director of AnimaPoney, an organization that operated pony rides in a number of Paris parks, defended his enterprise, stating that his ponies work solely about 150 days per yr.

Parisians have had blended reactions to the ban. Whereas some dad and mom and grandparents agree with the necessity for higher animal welfare, they query the scope of the ban.

Meryem, a 63-year-old grandmother who was strolling with two ponies, every carrying a grandchild, acknowledged, “If it (the ban) is for a superb purpose, they should clarify and set out arguments in protection of this purpose. Whether it is simply to say that ponies are mistreated, this gained’t be sufficient as a result of, on this case, all the pieces should cease, horse using should cease, police on horses should cease, horse breeding for pedigree should cease.”

PAZ has proposed an answer that advantages each animals and kids. They recommend remodeling a Paris farm within the Bois de Vincennes right into a shelter for rescued ponies and donkeys. On this approach, kids can nonetheless find out about and work together with these animals, however in an surroundings designed for the animals’ well-being.

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