Palma town hall is under fire again regarding horse-drawn carriage regulation. | Patricia Lozano


The Progreso en Verde animal-rights party is to lodge a 'denuncia' with the prosecution service for the environment which accuses Palma town hall of a failure to comply with ordinance governing the activity of horse-drawn carriages.

The party's president, Guillermo Amengual, says that the complaint relates to non-compliance with council meeting approval in 2014 of reform of municipal ordinance to give greater protection to animals and to make the activity of carriages more restrictive.

The complaint will also be about the bells that hang from horses. These are prohibited under current ordinance and are considered by veterinarians to be very harmful. He explains that a 2003 bylaw indicated that no bells or any accessories which are especially harmful to horses were permitted.

A further aspect of the complaint relates to a 2013 decree which established that the carriages' stop on the Calle Conqueridor should be withdrawn.

Amengual suggests that there is something "very shady" with regard to the carriages. "All that has been happening isn't normal; all that is being permitted."

The party is also demanding the taking-back of licences, which it believes is the only option because of Consultative Council* opinion that licences could continue to be inherited, which is contrary to what the town hall wanted.

At present, the mobility department doesn't have any schedule for reforming ordinance regulating the carriages, even though there was a commitment to this six years ago. The reasons are a lack of personnel and new requirements brought about by the pandemic.

It is also unknown when the process for taking-back of licences (by buying them out) will start. The councillor, Francesc Dalmau, says that there hasn't been a calculation of the cost, albeit his predecessor, Joan Ferrer, came up with a figure of 1.4 million euros - 50,000 euros for the 28 licences, of which 23 apply to the centre of Palma and five to Playa de Palma.

Amengual accepts that this is a lot of money but argues there could be a plan over eight years to buy out three licences per annum. "We have presented a minimal proposal for at least one licence to be eliminated in 2021 so as to show there is the will to do so, even though we know this won't be the case as we don't get responses to our petitions."

* The Consultative Council is the body which advises public authorities on legal matters.