DONKEYS and horses used to keep Mijas’ photo-friendly tourist taxi industry afloat will now wear rubber shoes instead of traditional iron.
The decision was announced by Transport councillor Nuria Rodriguez late last week.
The decision came after construction workers noted that the pueblo’s famous cobblestones were being gradually worn down by the solemn clunking of heels.
Donkey taxis and horsedrawn carriages have proven a major, if controversial, attraction for decades. To stop the practice ultimately destroying Mijas’ roads, the council will fund the new rubber soled shoes. Rodriguez claims they are killing two birds with one stone and also making life easier and more comfortable for the animals.
“With rubber shoes we can preserve the image of the town and benefit the horses,” she told the press.
Coachmen tried different materials and styles before settling on rubber.
Rodriguez has been on the back foot in Mijas lately, forced to make concessions to upset animal rights defenders and residents shocked at some of the treatment endured by the donkeys in particular. A video surfaced last year showing one coachman remorselessly beating a donkey which had collapsed due to thirst. Protests regularly take place in the pueblo against the practice.