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Following a years-long Animal rights campaign, the city of Paris will begin to phase out children’s pony rides in public parks. Beginning in 2025, these pony rides will be banned. This ban represents a major success for Animal rights activists who have long argued that these rides are detrimental to the ponies and turn the animals into objects of entertainment for children. 

Source: Reuters/YouTube

The Animal rights group Paris Animaux Zoopolis has advocated for the end of pony rides for years. Activists have raised concerns regarding the ponies’ treatment during these rides. They cite long hours in transport trucks, lack of consistent access to water and food, and prolonged days wearing painful bits as examples of the ponies’ mistreatment. Additionally, the group worries that pony rides teach children to view animals as entertainment rather than living creatures with complex feelings and needs. Paris Animaux Zoopolis collected 8,400 signatures from the public before the announcement of the impending ban. Although the group is pleased that the Parisian city government has taken this step, they regret that the ban will not be placed into effect immediately. 

Operators of Parisian children’s pony rides have expressed frustration with the ban. Additionally, some Parisians have also expressed dissatisfaction. They believe that the pony rides are “a treat” for children, according to a statement given by Celine Papouin to Reuters. However, public pony rides are frequently fraught with abuse. 

According to PETA, excited children can accidentally hurt ponies. Additionally, ponies may lack proper medical care, and housing, and be overworked by greedy proprietors. Companies providing pony rides to children’s birthday parties or other private events should also be avoided. Other operations that capitalize on horses, such as carriage rides, are also generally best avoided. Carriage horses, and horses and ponies used for rides are often forced to work long days in all kinds of weather. They may also be forced to work into old age. Sadly, these animals will often be sold and slaughtered after they are no longer able to work. 

The French cities of Lyon and Marseilles have already moved to ban pony rides in public parks. With the French capital of Paris following suit, hopefully, more cities and countries will move to enact their own bans. 

Sign this petition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides!

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