Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
May 5, 2008
District of North Vancouver
It has come to my attention that Blueridge Good Neighbour Day, planned for Sunday, June 8th, has some scheduled events that may be in contravention of Bylaw No. 6423, Amendment 6434.
Pony Rides provided by Laughing Stock are scheduled between 10 - 1:30 pm and a display of critters/exotics from CinemaZoo is planned between 12:30 - 1: 30 pm.
Can you please tell me if these events are in violation of the bylaw?
I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter.
May 29, 2008
Dear Mayor and Council,
Re: Blueridge Good Neighbour Day
This is further to the recent District correspondence and telephone conversation with Carol Walker, Senior Animal By-law Officer.
I wish to express my concerns regarding the so called "entertainment" planned for Blueridge Good Neighbour Day.
The Districtís Animal Performance Bylaw No. 6423, has been interpreted by the Municipal Solicitor to allow pony rides since it is not considered to be "entertainment." Also Cinemazoo's live animal displays have been interpreted as "educational.Ē
A key question that was neglected is whether any investigations have revealed how these animals are cared for when they are not being transported to a multitude of events such as the forthcoming one in Blueridge.
The central point here is that as our societal values evolve, so too must our bylaws and their interpretation.
I recommend that the District follow the lead of many progressive municipalities and conduct a major rethinking and review of all the bylaws that affect animals. More specifically, I recommend that the Districtís Animal Performance Bylaw and Pet Shop Regulation Bylaw No. 6966 (1997) be modernized to reflect the realities and values of the 21st century.
I look forward to your response.
Re: Pony Ride Businesess/Blueridge Good Neighbour Day
Further to our telephone conversation, Lifeforce was instrumental in helping to implement an Animal Performance Bylaw in the District of North Vancouver. As the person who presented information to the Council I would like to provide some history of the intent of Council. It was generally agreed:
1. To stop the cycle of cruelty to animals perpetuated by businesses that profit and/or exploit animals. In general, the business comes first and if there are cutbacks the animals will suffer (such as food, shelter and vet care). Their wellbeing is not the top priority Ė making $$$ is. Animals are treated as replaceable commodities.
2. Promoting such businesses leads to possible increases of those wanting to make a buck and the resulting increase in animal suffering especially if all the business donít profit.
3. It was accepted that it would be morally wrong to support such businesses in which animals could suffer directly or indirectly. At the end of the usefulness of the animals most are taken to auction and sold for food slaughter. This happens with the Petting Zoo businesses and with Pony/Horse Ride businesses.
4. The issues raised at the time included both exotic and domestic animals. Concerns were raised about pony rides and abuses found during Lifeforce inspections. This included using pregnant ponies, kids kicking the animals, transport stresses (most animals donít like being transported), wounds, training methods, improper concrete flooring and withholding food/water during the events (donít want the ponies going to the bathroom).
Concerns of horses in circuses were also discussed because Lifeforce found horses being trained by being pulled to the ground and repeatedly kicked and whipped.
Animals are stressed by the continuous work, going around and around in a noisy environment and the constant human contact.
5. Public Safety issues must be addressed. Sometimes the ponies can escape and can injured people and themselves.
6. Pony Ride operators will acquire other animal attractions to beat the competition. This could include exotic animals such as monkeys.
7. Time and resources for organizations to have to monitor/inspect living conditions and transport methods of these businesses is not available. Out of sight and out of mind once the ponies leave. And it is not possible for council to have staff monitor/inspect the premises.
As with Petting Zoos the Fraser Health Authority/BCCDC Guidelines re: proper Public Hygiene must be provided and adhered to. There are numerous pathogens that can be transmitted. People have become seriously ill and some have died. This includes proper signage notifying kids who are touching animals to not put their hands near their mouths and to have access to running water for hand washing.
LIfeforce believes that it was a the intent of Council to have pony rides considered to be included in the travelling petting zoo designation in the bylaw and thus prohibited. Pony rides were often part of travelling petting zoos operations.
It speaks volumes that although operators may publicly claim that the animals are part of their family behind the scenes will sell them to despicable auctions.
DNV didnít want to support an animal industry in which the priorities of the animals are not paramount. DNV didnít want to condone businesses that perpetuate animal abuses. At the end of the day the majority of them are not retired to live a peaceful life - they are taken to abusive auctions and will continue to reluctantly serve humans by being served as horse meat. Our ethical treatment of animals must include stopping the inherent cruelties resulting from these Pony Ride businesses.
I look forward to your response.
Comment and photos by Carmina Gooch: The above is a sample of the correspondence between the District of North Vancouver and concerned animal advocates. We attended the event of June 8th, and while Cinemazoo was not in attendance, Laughing Stock Ranch was there with their ponies. Rides took place on the paved tennis courts. In response to our letter as to Cinemazooís absence we were told by the BGND committee that they wanted to change and renew the format. A limited budget was also cited.
June 10, 2012 Blueridge Good Neighbour Day is an annual event, and this year wasnít much different than in the past. Laughing Stock Ranch is still providing pony rides. Jane Thornthwaite, Liberal MLA and Andrew Saxton, Conservative MP attended.
June 8, 2014 This year, thankfully, there were no pony rides! There were plenty of alternative, fun activities that kept the kids busy. Jane Thornthwaite was cheerfully making the rounds, while Andrew Saxton was absent, although in town.