Chinese merry-go-round with real horses kicks up controversy

A merry-go-round with real horses tied to the metal pillars was spotted at Shuangliu Wanda Plaza in Chengdu City in southern China last Sunday (November 18).

The video shows three children with helmets riding on three horses tied to the metal pillars and walking in circles around the rotating circular platform.

According to reports, a horse ride for three and a half minutes charges around three to six pounds with staff guiding tourists on site.

Some netizens thought it was cruel for the animals, but an employee at the riding club said the horses walked for around three hours on the carousel every day, which is just another way to walk them and they had a break every hour.

Some wildlife authorities have said the carousel is legal and the horses are not being mistreated.

"There is no law against using animals for amusement rides," said Zhou Ming, head of a wildlife rescue centre in Chengdu.

The real horse merry-go-round has stopped running temporarily for safety training for the staff and will be reopened once the training finishes.