Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS A collapsed horse, drawing a caleche, is seen Monday in Montreal. City officials in Montreal are checking to see if new regulations were violated after a horse tied to a carriage collapsed in the street. Witnesses say the horse was able to get back on its feet after about 10 minutes.

Horse tied to caleche collapses in Montreal

MONTREAL — Animal-welfare groups have renewed their calls for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in Montreal after another horse collapsed in the street over the long weekend.

The animal was found lying on its side Monday in front of a square in Old Montreal that is popular with tourists. Witnesses say the horse was able to get back on its feet after about 10 minutes.

The City of Montreal recently adopted new rules to protect the welfare of horses working in the city’s caleche industry.

Last year, Mayor Denis Coderre tried to place a one-year moratorium on the popular tourist draw after several accidents involving caleche horses were caught on camera.

That decision was later reversed after a judge ruled the carriages should be allowed to continue operating.

But Mirella Colalillo, a spokeswoman for a group opposed to caleche horses, said Tuesday the animal that collapsed should not even have been working.

“We’ve seen her pulling carriages loaded with people all summer, and she’s very skinny,” said Colalillo of the Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition.

“She’s an old horse that needs to be retired.”

A city official said in an email that the horse was 15 years old and had no previous problems with her health. A veterinarian said the animal was overweight in 2016, but the problem was corrected this year and she was in good health.

Coderre told reporters Tuesday he’s asked for a report into the incident, stressing he didn’t think the heat had anything to do with the collapse.

“Initial reports from veterinarians say there could have been extreme fatigue,” he said.

But the mayor added the horse won’t be back in action until he has had a look at the report.

Colalillo also criticized the city’s new bylaw, pointing out that many of the horses are over 15 years old.

“It doesn’t say anything about the age limit of the horses, it doesn’t address the drivers or the owners, they don’t need to know anything about horses, they can just drive a caleche and not know anything,” she said.

The SPCA’s Sophie Gaillard says the horses are bought when they’re already at the end of their working lives, “and they’re basically worked to death.”

Gaillard said Tuesday the new regulations do nothing to address animal-welfare issues such as the quantity of exhaust fumes the horses are exposed to and the fact they are forced to work on hard pavement for their whole lives.

She added the regulations are mainly focused on improving the image of the industry.

“It’s just time to get rid of this industry, it’s a tacky industry, it does nothing to improve the image of Montreal with tourists,” Gaillard said.

Simon Marceau-Pelletier, a Montrealer who took a dramatic photo of the incident, said he was shocked when he came across the horse lying on the ground.

He regularly sees the horses because he has worked in the area for several years.

“I have never been comfortable with that,” he said. “I took the photo, not to show to my friends, but to show there is a real problem.”

Just Posted

Tsunami warning for B.C.’s coast is cancelled after Alaska quake

VANCOUVER — A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was cancelled… Continue reading

Sewage spill shuts beaches along California’s Central Coast

MONTEREY, Calif. — Nearly 5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the… Continue reading

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

TORONTO — A Toronto producer who worked on “The Shape of Water”… Continue reading

US, others launch new tool to punish chemical weapons users

PARIS — The United States and 28 other countries are launching a… Continue reading

Fewer than half of Canadians hold optimistic, open view of the world: poll

OTTAWA — Canada’s reputation as a nation with an open and optimistic… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month