SEVEN horse and carriage drivers in Palma have been fined for forcing their animals to work at the height of the heatwave.
Local byelaws decree that when there is a yellow alert for heat – as is the case at the moment – then the drivers must stop work between noon and 5pm.
Local Police spotted that several of the tourist carriages were still operating in the dangerously hot temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius and stepped in to call a halt. Police say they will be keeping an eye on the situation in the coming days to ensure the welfare of the horses.
Now animal welfare group Actúa has demanded the immediate withdrawal of licences from the fined drivers for endangering the lives of their animals.
Spokesman for the group Guillermo Amengual said that these drivers “make fun of the laws and regulations because they know that nothing is going to happen to them.
“They have been doing it for many years. If the current ordinance was enforced, these drivers would have lost their licences.”
Actúa has requested the adoption of severe measures and the immediate creation of the post of animal protection agent to crack down on “the hundreds of infractions committed by the drivers of the buggies. They only care about money and not the welfare of the horses themselves, and treat them as mere merchandise.”
It also calls for the PSOE governing team to have the “courage to put an end once and for all to the exploitation and mistreatment of the horses in Palma.”