Barcelona has banned horse-drawn carriages. The trade will be banned beginning in June 2018 with the only exception being days of traditional Spanish celebration like Los Tres Toms and the Feast of Sant Medir.
After the announcement was made, Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz tweeted, “Barcelona is a friend to animals.” Given the number of incidents with horse-drawn carriages in the US alone, Barcelona is certainly showing its compassion to animals.
Horse-drawn carriages are cruel for a number of reasons, including:
- Carriages are immense and heavy, add people to the mix and it just gets heavier, even for big, strong animals.
- Walking in the street, alongside cars and other vehicles, is incredibly stressful for horses; they are sensitive to loud noises and unexpected sounds.
- Horses have to work regardless of how hot or cold it is outside. In summer, horses are so overworked that some often drop dead from heatstroke.
- If and when horses become spooked, their lives and the lives of others are in peril.
- Accidents actually happen. Drivers have hit carriages in nearly every city where horse-drawn carriages are allowed.
- Unsurprisingly, breathing in exhaust fumes from cars results in major upper respiratory problems.
- Constantly walking on hard surfaces results in debilitating leg problems, which means death for injured horses.
- Horse-drawn carriage companies lie to customers with the promise that horses are eventually retired to green pastures and beautiful sanctuaries. In reality, these exhausted horses are often turned into food for dogs or zoo animals or shipped overseas for human consumption.
- Nothing in the horse-drawn carriage business is natural for horses. Horses pulling things for humans has become normalized all over the world but it’s simply not something they’d ever willingly choose to do.