Griffith Park Pony Rides to shut down

The attraction has been popular with families but has also been the subject of criticism from animal-rights activists.

Eric Resendiz Image
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Griffith Park Pony Rides to shut down
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The attraction has been popular with families but has also been the subject of criticism from animal-rights activists.

GRIFFITH PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Griffith Park Pony Rides, a longtime attraction at one of Los Angeles' most recognizable landmarks, will shut down later this month, according to the city.

"At the request of the City Council, the Department will undertake a community input process to re-imagine the recreational and educational activities offered at this location in Griffith Park to continue providing youth and families an affordable and enjoyable experience," a statement on the city's Department of Parks website.

The statement announced that the Griffith Park Pony Rides concession contract will expire on Dec. 21 and, "after careful consideration," the department decided not to extend the contract.

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The pony rides are scheduled to be closed to the public beginning Dec. 22.

The attraction has been popular with families but has also been the subject of criticism from animal-rights activists.

In November 2021, a group held a protest at Griffith Park, claiming that animal welfare laws were being broken. The Los Angeles Alliance for Animals demanded that the city enact an ordinance banning pony rides.

"Animal welfare laws, created with the input of veterinarians and equine experts, are constantly ignored by the pony ride operator and are never enforced by Park and Recreation, and Los Angeles Animal Services nor Los Angeles Police Department," the LAAA said at the time, claiming it had been monitoring the rides since July of that year. "The Pony rides concession is animal cruelty disguised as child entertainment. 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."

The Griffith Park Pony Rides and Petting Zoo issued a statement in November 2021, saying the facility was routinely inspected by city and county of Los Angeles to "assure the safe and humane treatment of every animal."