TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Motorists witnessed a rider on a horse galloping through the streets of New Taipei’s Sanxia District at 9 p.m. on Monday (Nov. 13).
The click of hooves and unusual site were shocking to those who filmed the incident and sent it to the police for investigation. Although such behavior is illegal, police said they had to witness the infraction to issue a ticket, per PTS.
Police found that the horse was kept as a pet. Horse riding should be confined to a horse farm or private land, and riding a horse on city streets is illegal, police said.
"The act of riding a horse on the road without permission and obstructing traffic violates Article 84 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act," according to New Taipei Sanxia police inspector Huang Shifeng (黃士峰). “Even if it is clearly illegal, police cannot punish them according to the law, as such violations do not fall within the scope of accepting community reporting. Police can only issue fines if they are present,” added Huang.
Huang said it is not uncommon for pets to compete with cars on the road. For example, ostriches once appeared on Provincial Highway 7.
There was also a case of three horses galloping on a road in Hualien, and alpacas wandering along a main road in Taichung. Even in Taipei City, pet chickens once escaped and ran onto the road.
In addition to facing fines of NT$300-600 (US$3-18), another charge may be levied on pet owners with regard to violating the Animal Protection Law, with a maximum fine of NT$15,000.