Palma is the only city to have officially approved replacement of horse carriages. | Teresa Ayuga

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The Spanish government has chosen Palma for a pilot programme to replace horse-driven carriages with electric carriages.

An item has been included in the 2023 budget for the purchase of ten electric carriages. It may be that Palma doesn't receive all ten, but at present it is the only city in Spain where there has been official approval for the replacement of horse carriages - this was at a council meeting in July.

Whatever the number that Palma receives, they are likely to be available in the first quarter of next year and they won't cost the town hall anything, though it will be responsible for maintenance.

Horse-carriage drivers' current licences will apply to the new carriages.

Sergio García Torres, the director-general of animal welfare within the national ministry of social rights, says that "the elimination of horse-drawn carriages has been an objective that Podemos (his party) have been pursuing for a long time". "High temperatures, as has been demonstrated again this summer, pose a great risk to the welfare of the animals."

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The government is to place an order for these carriages to be manufactured, García adding that his directorate has had to work through certain issues with regard to their use on roads.