- Italy -
I cannot believe that in the 21st century there are still countries that allow horse-drawn carriages.
The Italian capital has banned it from operating on the city’s streets starting from December 1.
However, the open-topped carriages known as “Botticelle”, will still be permitted in public parks and historic villas.
Animal rights activists have rightfully criticized the authorities for not abolishing the mode of transport altogether. The poor horses suffer in the summer heat as they are forced to pull heavy loads over slippery cobbled streets.
The Guardian reports that Rinaldo Sidoli, a spokesman for the animal and environmental activist group, Alleanza Popolare Ecologista said: “Subjecting animals to inhumane labor in the name of an anachronistic tradition is animal abuse.”
Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi, posted the announcement on her Facebook page and part of the post reads: “You will never again see tired horses on the streets of the city during the hottest hours of the summer months, because we have expressly forbidden it.”
As per the new rules approved by the city assembly, horses must follow established routes, with mandatory stops every 45 minutes and must not be employed for more than seven hours a day.
The horses will not be allowed to circulate from midday until 5:30 p.m. in July and August.
The damn carriages are a lucrative business with some tour operators charging over €100 ($120) per person for a tour of the city monuments.
According to The Guardian, Angelo Sed, the head of the carriage drivers’ association, said that the mayor’s move was a blow to those already struggling to stay afloat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Trade in the parks will never be the same as the sort of business you can do in the city center,” he said.
Well, Mr. Sed, why don’t you bend over and carry people on your back around the city in hot temperatures and then tell me how you like it!?
I believe it’s not necessary to abuse innocent horses to carry lazy people who could use their legs to walk around and enjoy Rome, and that’s what I wrote on the mayor’s Facebook page.
Shame on you!
Please, keep in mind that riding in horse-drawn carriage is not romantic.
It enables animal cruelty!