After several days trying in vain to get news of this horse and its owner, we have today sent a formal complaint to the Palermo NAS, the ASL and the Mayor.
In the letter, sent by certified email, we ask for a report on the condition of all the horses used in the tourist horse-drawn carriage business, in order to identify the one in the photo, which we hope to get legally seized. We have also asked for the conditions in which all the horses used for the carriages are kept which, from other reports from members of the public, we suspect are not up to the legally-set standards.
The trade in question is governed by a Regulation approved in Palermo in February 2016, and which we find somewhat insufficient in what concerns the care and management of the animals, being a series of generic suggestions on welfare and stabling, but lacking totally any specific details which can be usefully evaluated. The day after the approval of this Regulation, Councillor Giovanna Marano stated: “This Regulation aims to make our Historic Centre more attractive. Transforming the use of an ancient form of transport into a tourist attraction is an opportunity this Administration could not pass up””
Note that we received the photograph from a tourist in the middle of September; it was taken somewhere in the area of Fontana Pretoria.
Unfortunately the tourist was unable to give us any details about the owner, or registration details of the carriage, and the photo was sent to us after the horses had moved on.
Note also however that the Regulation does not foresee the area of Piazza Pretoria as on an authorised route for horse-drawn carriages.
We thank the Palermo citizens who have done all they can over the past few days to help us find this horse, and invite them to keep the situation under surveillance.
Read our post of 24 September
Tourist Carriages - Caserta: horse collapses to the ground and dies (August 2020)
Chicago: an end to horse drawn carriages
Horse-drawn tourist carriages: IHP appeal to tourists
Botticelle: First positive steps taken by the Municipality of Rome
Botticelle: yet another equine victim of an anachronistic and uncivilised practice
Carriages four tourists in towns: an exploitation to ban