If horse-drawn carriages were discontinued in Victoria, suitable homes would be needed for over 40 horses. At an annual estimated cost of almost $1 million to feed, house and care for Victoria’s carriage horses it is unreasonable to think that these horses would be easily re-homed with proper care.
Over 70 staff would be stripped of their livelihood, including many part-time university students who rely on the industry to support their education. Over the last few years the SPCA has been overrun with abused or abandoned horses due to scarcity of feed and skyrocketing health and housing costs. Draft horses in particular are susceptible to poor care as people often underestimate the costs associated with their keep. The harsh reality is that many draft horses end up at auction where they have very uncertain futures. Or, alternatively, well-meaning groups of people who would prefer to see domestic horses ‘set free’ don’t realize that the mortality rates for these horses are extremely low as they typically suffer and die due to disease, dehydration, and starvation.
Victoria’s carriage horses have a standard of living and care that is far beyond the norm; and when the time comes, they are assured of a safe, happy, healthy retirement with their herd-mates and human family who has always loved and cared for them.