Lyons. At the Tête d’Or park, pony rides “must stop”

Pony rides for children are offered in the Tête d’Or park in Lyon. (©PAZ / DR)

“You can teach children that they ride a pony as if it were a carousel ride. This is not acceptable and it must stop,” says Amandine Sanvisens of the Paris Animals Zoopolis (PAZ) association, who initiated the process.

On August 31, several animal defense associations and collectives co-signed a letter for the attention of the City of Lyon. Only one request is made: that the municipality put an end to pony rides in the Tête d’Or park at the end of the agreement which binds them with the operator, on December 31, 2022. Agreement which had been signed by the former municipality, in 2016.

Ponies would not always have access to water

“We have made several visits to the park this summer. Not all animals always have access to water and there is almost never faith, children don’t have helmets, some ponies are tied to small carts and have no freedom of movement… “lists Amandine.

It is considered contrary to the animal condition. The ponies are transported twice a day instead of being in a meadow. Children don’t learn anything about the need for animals except that they are toys that you can use as you want.

Amandine Sanvisens from the PAZ association
For several animal defense associations, pony rides are
For several animal defense associations, pony rides are “contrary to the animal condition”. (©PAZ / DR)

“We expect an ecological town hall to lead by example”

A first meeting had taken place in mid-July with Nicolas Husson, deputy mayor in charge of animal protection, “who had shown himself to be open”. Then, during hot weather, PAZ had asked the town hall to take emergency measures and not to bring the operator and his ponies below 39 degrees.

“We were told it had been done. But they came continuously during the summer. Today, we really expect an ecological town hall to lead by example and be sensitive to these issues,” says Amandine.

No possible alternative

In Paris, after the same debate launched by the association, the town hall had ended up adding a charter to their convention, to impose new rules which would ensure the well-being of the ponies. “But nothing was applied. The problem is that you have to constantly check and it is not possible. Above all, we don’t want that to happen in Lyon. It is not an alternative. »

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