A merry-go-round in China using live ponies at a shopping center has drawn online outrage with accusations of animal cruelty. A viral video showed four ponies, with their heads attached to steel bars, circling a pole for hours with children on their backs.
According to the South China Morning Post, the shopping center, located in Chengdu, Sichuan province, responded to the criticism by immediately suspending the rides. Online users and shoppers alike stated it was cruel forcing the horses to walk on a motorized treadmill for hours at a time carrying children.
“Horses need exercise,” said one woman, “but limiting them to such a small area and forcing them to circle around is not exercise. They are simply using horses for profit.”
The owner of the horses denied accusations of animal abuse, and said the ponies were replaced with other ponies after an hour and none of the ponies worked more than three hours a day. The charge for riding a pony was $7.20 for a 3 1/2 minute ride.
The ponies have been trained, and according to the owner are attached to the bar of the merry-go-round to ensure they don’t bite anyone. Bai Xu, the director in charge of animal safety, stated there are no regulations for live ponies making up merry-go-rounds, but there had to be reasonable controls for the time and intensity of the ponies working. In addition, riders are required to wear protective gear just in case they fall off or are involved in an accident.
(Photos via freezeshots from videos)
Yesterday: Homeless man rescued dog hit by a car – more here.
In need: Gorgeous shepherd freaked out after adopter returned her to the shelter – more here.
Oh my gosh, sweet reunion!