Update (1 August 2022): On 28 July, Palma’s city council approved a proposal to ban cruel, old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages by 2024 and replace them with electric vehicles. This follows years of campaigning by PETA and other animal rights advocates around the world. This is great news – but there is still work to do.
In other popular destinations in Mallorca, such as Alcúdia and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, dozens of exhausted horses are forced to pull carriages laden with tourists through the busy streets. Many of the debilitated animals collapse – especially in the summer, when temperatures regularly reach 35 degrees. Others get caught up in noisy traffic, which often leads to accidents – the honk of a car horn or even an insect bite can be enough to trigger the horses’ instinct to bolt.
Mallorca Doesn’t Need Horse-Drawn Carriages
Cities such as London, Paris, and Toronto no longer issue licences for horse-drawn tourist carriages, and many – including Barcelona, New Delhi, Oxford, and Tel Aviv – have already banned them altogether. By switching to using electric vehicles instead, Mallorca would be making its streets safer and providing tourists with a more compassionate and eco-friendly way to explore the island’s sights.
Horses Deserve Meaningful Lives
Horses are sensitive, social animals who naturally live in herds. They need sufficient exercise as well as appropriate food, fresh water, regular care, and veterinary treatment. If these most basic needs aren’t met, the animals suffer throughout their lives and may develop serious illnesses. When cared for properly, given adequate space, and allowed to live free from exploitation and abuse, horses can live for 35 years or longer.