On Sunday, July 23, a shocking video was recorded by a driver in Calvados, France, showing a horse tied to a slow moving trailer, forced to keep running along the open road.
Source: 20 Minutes
The animal was forced to keep up with the moving vehicle and was clearly panicked. At one point, the horse can be seen trying to free himself from the tie by kicking it with his hooves. Horrified by the situation, Melanie, the driver who filmed the event, spoke to the driver, who had a shocking reaction. She recounts:
I told him that it was animal cruelty and he laughed. He said that the horse would get used to it. I was driving at around 25km/h [15mph]. If the horse had fallen, he would have died, not to mention the danger for other drivers!
Source: 20 Minutes
The horse's owner explained his side of the story on the French TV show Equidia and denied all the accusations of cruelty:
The horse was prescribed to run six kilometers at 10-12km/h every day on tarmac as the surface is flat. It's to take care of him and it's what he needs.
The animal welfare associataions 30 Millions d'Amis and PETA have both denounced the action and are determined to get justice. Anissa Putois, member of PETA France announced:
While the interview with the driver hasn't allowed us to identify the stable or the van, we will send an appeal for witnesses. We are offering a reward to the person who allows us to find the vehicle, as we often do.
The animal seemed afraid, he could have been in a car accident, not to mention the possible respiratory problems that could come from being behind the vehicle. PETA is determined to make sure that this person will no longer be able to own horses.
The association 30 Millions d'Amis will file a civil case in front of the court and will call for the confiscation of the horse, who they will then take care of.
The horse's owner risks Judiciary action for animal cruelty, a crime with a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a €30,000 ($35,000) fine.
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