Sometimes at Horse News, we get press releases. And sometimes those press releases have to do with...actual Horse News. Today we received one that reads as follows:
PROTEST OF INHUMANE ST. LOUIS HORSE CARRIAGE RIDES, FOR ANNIVERSARY OF ‘KING’ THE HORSE’S DEATH
Animal Legal Defense Fund and St. Louis Animal Rights Team continue to put pressure on city officials
For immediate release:
December 21, 2015
ST. LOUIS, MO — The St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START) promises twenty protesters—holding signs reading “King Died Giving Rides, Don’t Get Taken for a Ride” and “RIP King”— at “Winter Wonderland” in Tilles Park, Wednesday, December 23, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The protestors will join a candlelight vigil to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of King—a horse who died while giving carriage rides at St. Louis County’s annual “Winter Wonderland” on December 21, 2013.
The protest follows the dismissal of a petition filed with the St. Louis City Court, requesting the court to force the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC), and it’s executive director Ronald Klien, to regulate the St. Louis horse-drawn carriage industry. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and START are appealing the decision.
MTC is accused of neglecting their responsibility to enforce regulatory requirements that include provisions for animal welfare, veterinary care, housing, and work restrictions for the horses.
King was owned by Eureka-based Brookdale Farms, which MTC had previously investigated after multiple complaints of neglect and malnourishment. A veterinarian sent by MTC in 2010 reported that all horses at Brookdale Farms were deprived of adequate food, and many were malnourished. Though an investigation of King’s death was promised to the public in 2013, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed that no such investigation occurred. In fact, MTC mysteriously abandoned its enforcement responsibilities regarding carriage horses altogether later that year, spurring ALDF & START’s lawsuit.
WHO: Twenty local residents and members of START
WHAT: Candlelight vigil for King the horse and a protest of continuing inhumane treatment, injuries, and deaths of carriage horses
WHEN: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Tilles Park, St. Louis County
9551 Litzinger Road St. Louis, MO 63124
DAY-OF CONTACT NUMBER: 636-675-5383
Bonnie Boime with the St. Louis Animal Rights Team, will be available for interviews at the protest.
Animal Legal Defense Fund Attorney Jessica Blome is available for interviews via phone. To schedule an interview, please contact Natalia Lima at Natalia@PawsPR.com or 201-679-7088.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, ALDF files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.
St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START) is an all-volunteer group of area residents dedicated to focusing public attention on animal rights issues. We are involved in many such issues, including animals used for product testing, medical research, food, clothing, entertainment, or dissection, as well as companion animal overpopulation, trapping, sport hunting, and wildlife habitat. We promote educational programs to encourage compassion for the fate of all animals, and to end discrimination against beings solely on the basis of their species. Its website is www.start4animals.org.