Could Malaga’s horse-drawn carriages be replaced by classic cars or electric bikes?

Horse-drawn carriages may be banned in Malaga.

HORSE-DRAWN carriages in Malaga are as typical in the city as they are controversial. Animal rights associations, horse carriage owners and the Malaga Council held a meeting on Wednesday (August 12) to tackle the issue and come up with a solution. 

Owners have defended their right to work and rejected the suggestion that they should leave their stop in Plaza de la Marina, while the animal rights associations have strongly criticised the tough conditions that the horses have to endure and proposed moving their location to Paseo de los Curas, where the shaded areas are bigger. 

“These animals spend the whole day under the sun, on an extremely hot pavement,” said head of the Animals and Plants Rights Association in Malaga, Carmen Manzano, who added: “They give them the water that is used to water gardens, and they are very sensitive, they could even suffer intestinal troubles.”

The associations have demanded a stricter control on the times the horses work, which is traditionally during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 7pm.

The local team of the political party Ciudadanos has proposed eliminating the carriages altogether and replacing them with vintage, electric cars, which could be driven by the owners of carriages, who would be able to keep their jobs. 

“With this proposal we could improve the city’s image, avoid bad smells and put an end to the suffering of horses,” said spokesperson, Juan Cassa. 

The proposal has been put to horse carriage drivers, who are reported as having mixed feelings about it. 

A second proposal from the same team has been to keep the carriages, but have them pulled by electric bicycles. 


  1. It doesn’t make sense to make them move to a road nobody walks on. Those in the Plaza de la Marina do not have any shelter ever. In the other places depending on the time of day there can be shady areas. Not all the “cocheros” treat their horses with kindness. I witnessed one tired horse punched in the ribs to make it raise its head. The best solution would be to erect protection from the sun for the horses. The “cocheros” don’t hesitate to protect themselves. Phasing them out as the horses age to cut down their numbers would be a good idea. I don’t see how all of them can make a living.


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