MORE than 2.000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to eradicate Marbella´s horse and carriage rides
The driving force behind the petition, Belen Padilla, believes that the tourist attraction constitutes animal cruelty and is urging the council to intervene and improve conditions for the horses. “We want to be a modern society, but we still have traditions which belong in the middle ages.”
Padilla alleges that “the horses are left immobile for hours, leading to medical complications caused by muscle stiffness and swelling. They are often left without food or water in extreme temperatures, since the law does not allow the feeding of animals on public roads.” She believes that the council must get involved and make changes to the conditions of the horses, allowing them more time out and moving, with food and water available at all times.
The carriage drivers have defended themselves, stating that the horses are in good shape and have adequate care at the two stops found in the city, in calle Miguel Cano and on avenida España. They also claim that the council do limit activity during the summer when temperatures are at their most extreme.
Other drivers have pointed out that the horse-drawn carriages have been in the city for more than 60 years, with business passing from fathers to sons, making it a valid livelihood. Claiming that the animal activists want to “remove everything that makes Spain unique”, such as bullfighting and the carriages, they assert that the horses are well cared for in stables where they have “water, light and shade” and deny that they are exploited.