L.A. considers outside experts to assess horses’ well-being at popular pony ride facility in Griffith Park

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The city of Los Angeles is considering hiring an equestrian expert to assess the well-being of the horses used at the Griffith Park Pony Rides.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The city of Los Angeles is considering hiring an equestrian expert to assess the well-being of the horses used at the Griffith Park Pony Rides.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

An animal rights group has accused the city of Los Angeles of ignoring animal welfare laws at the Griffith Park Pony Rides, claiming that horses at the facility are overworked and calling for a citywide ban on commercial pony rides.

“The pony rides concession is animal cruelty disguised as child entertainment,” the Los Angeles Alliance for Animals said in a statement last week. “Unkind treatment of animals doesn’t align with Los Angeles values. Los Angeles has passed the fur ban, bull hook ban, and no wild animals in private parties.”

In response, two City Council members want the Department of Recreation and Parks to hire an outside equestrian expert to assess the well-being of horses used in the popular attraction.

Griffith Park Pony Rides, which has operated in some form at the park since 1948, features pony rides and a petting zoo. Stephen Weeks, who has owned the business for the past five years, said protests at his facility have resulted in a lot of unhappy customers, with children riding around a corral to screaming protesters.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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