Concerns have been expressed about the welfare of horses in different parts of Majorca. | Teresa Ayuga


Horse carriages in Cala Ratjada will be banned from this coming September, the town hall (Capdepera) having taken the decision not to renew existing licences to operate the carriages. There are currently six such licences, four of which expire on 1 September and the other two on 11 September. The town hall will notify the operators that they will not be renewed.

The decision has been taken in light of what happened last week: there was a serious accident involving a carriage and a motorbike, which resulted in the death of the horse and injury to the driver. The mayor of Capdepera, Rafel Fernández, says that the decision had already been taken and so has not been motivated by the accident. The local police, meanwhile, are investigating the causes of the accident.

Més, in opposition at the town hall, have issued a statement deploring what happened and are proposing that there is a debate to consider wider regulation of the types of vehicles on the resort's roads, such as quads and Segways. The party wishes to create a "new model of transport" for Cala Ratjada which is more sustainable, meaning less dependence on cars and vehicles and greater pedestrianisation.

The subject of horse carriages was very much alive in Palma last year, the then new administration at the town hall raising proposals by which the carriages in the city would be replaced by other means of transport. Part of the context to this was the highly publicised incident of a horse that had collapsed, apparently suffering from the heat, and which was revived by having water thrown over it. Tougher inspection of animal care has in the meantime been introduced in the city.

However, with regard to replacing the horse and carriages with other means of transport, little ground has been made and animal-rights groups are continuing to mount pressure on the town hall to take action, especially as the summer is here and temperatures are going to start rising, making life uncomfortable for the horses.