Manuel Vargas with a carriage, Palma.

Manuel Vargas with a carriage, Palma.

08-04-2021Jaume Morey

Palma’s galley horses are being prepared for the 2021 from animal welfare groups.

The horse-drawn carriages begin their city runs from Plaza de la Reina and the drivers, or caleseros are optimistic about the season.

According to La Calls Association spokesperson, Manuel Vargas, the galley workers haven't received any aid from the City Council during the pandemic and are struggling to meet their bills.

In the last couple of weeks, 50% of the caleseros have returned to work, but Vargas says they finish at 17.00 and are making very little money.

“We are happy to see ore movement now in Palma, after a year and a half of being unemployed, but the work is still not consistent,” he says. “The Germans are our biggest customers, followed by the English, French and Scandinavians.

Aid

Vargas says there’s been a severe lack of Government aid since the beginning of the State of Alarm.

"We have had to use our own money to cover expenses and care for the horses, including 300 euros a week for meals, vets and materials," he claims.

The Progreso en Verde party has filed a petition with Palma City Council demanding that the ordinance for the galley horses be changed before summer as a matter of urgency, “to stop the exploitation of these horses.”

The Head of Mobilitat, Francesc Dalmau, announced last year that the Consistory intended to review the licences for galley horses, but no date has been set.

The eco-animalist party has also collected 120,000 signatures from people in favour of ending the exploitation of galley horses and is demanding a change in the decree to prevent the horses working in high temperatures.

There are 28 galley licences in force in Palma, 23 in the centre and 5 in Playa de Palma.

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