The negative publicity given to the welfare of horses that pull carriages in Palma, typified by the image of a horse which collapsed with heat exhaustion in April, will have played a part in the city council planning to evaluate alternatives to the carriages.
Stricter controls are in any event to be applied to animal welfare through bylaw modification, says Neus Truyol (Més), the councillor with responsibility for animal welfare. Alternatives to the carriages could include what she terms “more sustainable vehicles”, i.e. electric ones, and the council has placed a high priority on the control of horses.
With this in mind, the council is working with the Son Reus animal protection centre and other animal associations in order to try and stop animal abandonment and to give greater protection to the horses which pull the carriages. Truyol says that they are working towards defining principles for joint monitoring of and collaboration on animal welfare. She is convinced that that there is “already a guarantee of success in meeting objectives”.
One aspect of improving welfare is the promotion of greater awareness related to the looking after of animals, with the aim of making it unnecessary for abandoned animals to have to be picked up. A social education campaign for this summer is being planned in recognition of the fact that summer, because of holidays, is a time when there are increased numbers of abandoned animals.