It’s a beloved September tradition in Charlotte. The 57th Annual Festival in the Park took place this weekend though not everyone enjoyed the celebration. One vendor who was offering Camel Rides has made news for angering animal activists. The rides, open to anyone below 180 pounds, cost $10. It was similar to a pony ride where you get on the animal and it walks slowly in a circle.
A local animal rights activist Penimah Tehilah says that this qualifies as animal abuse. In an interview with Fox 46 Tehilah said “Any activity that uses an animal in what’s called an exhibition, classifies as illegal activity, animal abusive activity. So these animals are being used in an exhibition-style event or ride, which would constitute an exhibition, which is illegal under Section 362, subsection eight of the Charlotte animal ordinances.”
She called animal control to report the rides and was told that she was not alone, others had reported it throughout the weekend. However, animal control stated that they had visited the festival and determined the rides to be ok. Tehilah disagrees and notes that the rides do violate the City of Charlotte’s Animal Abuse Ordinances. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Laura Meier agrees that the camel rides are concerning.
However, an unnamed Festival In The Park Board Member told Fox 46 he was not aware of any legal issues regarding the vendor, which has been at the festival in years past. “I do know that they’re a certified business. And they’ve been with the festival for years and years and years. I know that the kids you know absolutely loved the pony rides and also the camel rides. So we will leave it up to the city council we do whatever, whatever they decide,” he said.
It will be interesting to see if the camel rides, which animal activists describe as abuse, will be at the festival in 2022.
Camel Photo Gallery