Mistreatment of horses and mules

Editor:

People everywhere are outraged after seeing new video footage showing horses and mules on the Havasupai trail (the main trail to Arizona’s Havasu Falls) being forced to carry heavy loads of tourist gear up and down a grueling track. Eyewitnesses saw horses being whipped and mules slipping on the harrowing trip as they toiled in all weather extremes. Many were left sweating and panting from the taxing journey. One wrangler admitted that animals sometimes fall over the side of the trail.

Last month, a dead horse was simply left in the middle of the trail. In May, an eyewitness reported seeing a young horse collapse and die after being forced to carry an oversized load while apparently suffering from heat exhaustion. Just weeks later, another hiker reported that a horse collapsed but was forced to continue.

When not hauling, some horses and mules are confined to trash-filled pens while others are tethered without shelter.

Until the Havasupai Tribe takes immediate action to develop a comprehensive plan to address the suffering, neglect and deaths of horses and mules on the trail, you can help by never hiring animals to pack in your gear when you visit the Havasupai Canyon.

Jennifer O’Connor, PETA Foundation

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