After months of showdowns between horse carriage protesters and supporters in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Police are taking control.
All sides were brought to the table Wednesday to discuss protest tactics and what’s acceptable moving forward.
Tensions that have been escalating for months in Niagara-on-the-Lake have reached a boiling point. With carriage operators saying they’re being bullied by protesting members of an animal rights group.
While the group called ‘At War for Animals Niagara’ says they’ve been peaceful, but the trouble began when supporters of the carriages counter-protested.
The group has been holding weekly protests for nearly 9 months, their ultimate goal, putting an end to “speciesism”
“We do not believe any animal deserves to be treated as property, to be profited from, or used for human benefit for any reason.” says, Adam Stirr from At War for Animals Niagara.
Sentineal horses has been operating commerically in NOTL for 30 years and says the care and health of their horses is of utmost priority.
Owner Fred Sentineal says the group ignores that many of their horses have been saved from the slaughter house. He says, “It makes you look at your ethics, and when I look back on how we handle animals and the people we touch I am so proud.”
To deal with these tensions, Niagara Police called a meeting Wednesday with representatives from each group to address protest behaviour.
James McCaffery from the Niagara Regional Police Service says, “There’s various groups with very different opinions as to what should happen here today, but each group came forward and agreed to give on issues.”
Including protesters agreeing to stay 10 feet away from the carriages, while both groups agreed to stay six feet back from each other.