Good news for animal rights activists and the furry, scaly and feathery creatures they seek to protect. The city of Barcelona, Spain, has officially banned the horse-drawn carriage industry.
As a result of the city council’s vote, horse-drawn carriages will be prohibited from June 2018. PETA reports that the news was announced during a meeting of the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility that took place on November 15.
Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz also declared the news in a tweet. She wrote, “Barcelona is a friend to animals.” In her message, Sanz clarified that horse-drawn carriages will be permitted only during traditional celebrations, such as Los Tres Toms and the Feast of Sant Medir. At all other times, it will be entirely illegal.
Activists are celebrating the development for several reasons. To begin with, it is a common opinion that to force an animal to carry humans around in heavy carriage is inhumane. Additionally, hundreds of accidents have occurred over the years involving horse-drawn carriages; usually, the horse is injured in the “living nightmare.”
On busy streets, horses are exposed to heavy traffic, loud noises, toxic exhaust, and obnoxious people. It doesn’t help that many horses work several hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, this is actually quite common, as horses are afforded no protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act. As a result, the responsibility of looking out for their welfare often falls to local animal-control officials.
For these reasons (and quite a few more), animal lovers are applauding Barcelona for banning horse-drawn carriages. Perhaps in the future, other cities will follow suit.
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