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Animal advocates save horses from cruel carnival attraction

Animal abuse at carnivals, circuses and other spectacles is far from over, but horses at Atlantic City's Steel Pier amusement park will not have to make a 40-foot plunge into a pool for the amusement of visitors, Reuters reports. Park owner Anthony Catanoso decided to scrap the horse diving attraction after backlash from animal rights advocates who wanted to save animals from this traumatic stunt.

The act entails a horse climbing to the top of a 40-foot platform which tips, forcing the animal and its rider to "dive" into a 12-foot water tank below. The attraction lasted for 50 years after opening at the park in the 1920s. In 1993, the park put on a reincarnation of the act involving mules and no humans, but loud protests caused it to be shut down quickly.

No such thing will happen now, either, thanks to more than 55,000 people who signed online petitions denouncing Catanoso's plan to revive the stunt in order to attract visitors and pull the business out of recent financial hardships.

Catanoso told The Associated Press that he and his family, who own the historic pier, are no longer interested in the attraction.

"We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones," he told the news outlet. "That negativity - we didn't want that to interfere with the positive things we're trying to do."
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