Horses Pushed to Exhaustion, Collapse for Tourist Carriage Rides
In Spain, Egypt, and many other holiday destinations, horses are forced to pull heavy carriages filled with tourists for miles around tourist attractions or through chaotic streets, often in high temperatures, while suffering from physical and mental exhaustion.
The horses are made to walk and stand on hard surfaces for long periods, which typically causes them to develop debilitating leg conditions and sustain damage to their hooves. Many eventually become lame. Owners and drivers often ignore these painful conditions – either because they don’t recognise the animals’ distress or because they’re unwilling to lose a few days’ work to allow them to rest and heal. In Mallorca, Spain, many debilitated horses collapse – especially in the summer, when temperatures regularly reach 40 degrees.
Horses are skittish animals who can easily be spooked by unexpected noises such as car horns. In heavy, loud traffic, they’re subjected to constant stress, which sometimes leads them to bolt and cause accidents.
These animals belong on pastures, where they can rest in the shade, move about freely, and interact with members of their own species. If these most basic needs aren’t met, they suffer throughout their lives and may develop serious illnesses. When cared for properly, given adequate space, and allowed to live free from exploitation and abuse, horses can live for 35 years or longer.
London, Paris, Rome, and Toronto have stopped giving out commercial tourist-carriage licences and place strict limits on special-use carriages. Many other cities, such as Oxford, Barcelona, Montréal, New Delhi, and Tel Aviv, have already banned horse-drawn carriages.
Horse-drawn carriages can be replaced with eco-friendly electric tourist vehicles, sparing horses abuse and neglect, protecting all road users from the dangers posed by the presence of unpredictable animals, and providing a more innovative tourist attraction.
What You Can Do
- Never ride in a horse-drawn carriage, monitor the conditions of any horses you encounter, and if you see a horse in distress, file a cruelty-to-animals complaint with the local animal control agency, humane society, or SPCA. Please also encourage friends and family to do the same.
- If you’re travelling to a location where horses are used to pull carriages, speak out against this cruel industry by politely voicing your objections to the operators and passengers.
- Send a message to the mayors of the Mallorca towns of Alcúdia, Palma, and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar asking them to ban horse-drawn carriages and switch to using electric tourist vehicles instead.
- You can also speak out for horses whipped, beaten, and abused for tourist rides in Egypt.
- Share this information with all your friends, and urge them never to take tourist rides: