Activists outraged at the distressing photographs of a dead horse still hitched up to a carriage on the streets of Melbourne are taking their concerns to the city’s town hall on Tuesday night.
Photos of the dead horse taken about 10.30am on March 21 were sent to the Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages (MAHDC) group.
They showed the horse on the side of the road on Arden Street in North Melbourne covered with a blanket while still hitched up to the carriage.
MAHDC campaign director Kristin Leigh said protesters would rally outside the City of Melbourne council meeting about 5pm on Tuesday and call on Lord Mayor Sally Capp to take “immediate effective action”.
“Sally Capp has failed these horses for refusing to take effective action and now she and the Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll have blood on their hands” she said.
“We have been campaigning against the use of horses to pull carriages in Melbourne for seven years now and have witnessed countless horrific abuses.
“Operators repeatedly use bike lanes, forcing cyclists into traffic. Horses are frequently spooked and injured and are forced to negotiate heavy traffic, pedestrians, trams and cyclists whilst traversing on hard, pain-inflicting surfaces.”
RSPCA is investigating the incident earlier this month after the horse died on the street from a suspected heart attack.
In a statement at the time, Melbourne ride service Unique Carriage Hire – while not the company involved – suggested how the horse had died.
“On Sunday a horse passed away in Melbourne when travelling in to start work. It wasn’t one of our horses or our company, but we are deeply saddened and really feel for the owner’s family,” it said.
“We believe it was due to a heart attack but we are still waiting to hear results. Our carriages were not far away so we stopped to help and assist.
“The horse was in perfect condition, fit and healthy and was just about to start work. The owner of the horse is very upset at the loss of his family member and is grieving.”
City of Melbourne has been contacted for comment.