Animal Welfare Week Day 5 - Pony carousels


Day 5 pony carousels

I've known the pony carousels at the fairs in our area since I was little. While most have disappeared over time, I was shocked to see the tents again at two events this year, with ponies that looked anything but good. That's why I decided to include the topic in Animal Welfare Week. Pony carousels are still present at many fairs. Children are led in circles on ponies. A simple concept, but one that often results in a lot of suffering for the animals. 

They are not kept in a species-appropriate manner and do not receive enough in addition to their “working hours”.  outlet. The monotonous running in circles puts a strain on joints, vertebrae and ligaments and some of the equipment does not fit or is generally not designed for this type of movement. 

The psychological strain on the ponies should not be underestimated. The lack of social contacts and insufficient workload can lead to impairments. The animals often appear disinterested and dull and develop behavioral stereotypes

Instead of accommodating the pony carousels in quieter areas at the edge of the fair, the tents are often in the middle of the hustle and bustle with loud music and noisy visitors. Even if the animals don't always notice it, this means extreme stress.

The legal provisions are completely inadequate to protect animals. There is a short break every four hours, apart from that it is allowed to let the same ponies run from morning to evening; food and water quantities are not specified. There are no regulations for extreme temperatures and even the current guidelines are difficult to monitor because there is no capacity to depute official veterinarians at fairs for several hours at a time to check. 

Even if the guidelines were improved and controls tightened, it would be better for the ponies in question if, sooner or later, the pony carousels were abolished. 

Many cities already ban showmen at their fairs and you can always contact the administrations with this concern. 

If you notice tired, sick, injured or other conspicuous ponies, do not hesitate to report it to the veterinary office. The animals have no voice of their own and pony carousels are not a nice attraction for children but are actually torture for the animals in the vast majority of cases. 

If children want to ride, ask around at surrounding riding stables. There are often trial lessons so that you can come into contact with the horses and ponies. Handling is explained directly and the children have much better access to the animals. 

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