Children’s pony rides banned in Paris following animal rights campaign


The city of Paris will ban pony rides for children in public parks following a campaign by animal rights activists who said that the animals were suffering as a result of the practice.
The ban will come into effect from the year 2025, Reuters reported on Friday.
Children riding ponies in a Paris park, August 16th 2023. Pony rides have been a popular feature in Paris parks like Champ de Mars, Parc Monceau and Parc du Luxembourg for decades Reuters
For years, pony rides have been a popular staple in Parisian parks like Champ de Mars, Parc Monceau and Parc du Luxembourg.
Animal rights group Paris Animaux Zoopolis had long campaigned for the ban and had lobbied the city administration in the French capital with several demonstrations and awareness-raising operations in front of Parisian parks.
A statement on the animal rights group’s website welcomed the ban, saying “this victory in Paris represents an important step towards making society as a whole understand that animals are not toys and arriving at a world where animals are no longer exploited for leisure.
Paris City Hall had introduced a charter for the well-being of ponies in 2021 and last month decided to phase out granting licenses for pony-riding business operators following pressure from the group.
A PAZ petition to ban the rides had gathered more than 8,400 signatures fro members of the public prior to the ban being announced.
“Ponies are not toys. Children learn nothing about them from these walks, no emotional link is created. It just turns ponies into entertainment objects,” Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ) activist Amandine Sansivens told Reuters.
Some locals told Reuters that they believed the ban was unnecessary and that pony rides were a harmless form of children’s entertainment.
“For the kids, it is a treat. They love the contact with the ponies,” said Celine Papouin, whose daughter sat atop a pony in Parc Monceau, a Parisian public park, when she spoke to Reuters.


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