More accidents involving horses, people and vehicles, all due to an outmoded ritual in several Italian cities: the use of horse-drawn carriages carrying tourists right through the middle of the city and its heavy traffic.
Last Sunday, in via Roma at the very heart of the city, a frightened horse bolted off still harnessed to its carriage, and was hit by two cars. BlogSicilia.it reports there were injuries.
This blog also reported another incident which happened two weeks ago, in Palermo alla Cala: this time the horse broke free of the carriage as it bolted, and was hit by three cars. Some of the passengers in the carriage were taken to hospital with minor injuries, while the horse was seriously hurt (we are seeking confirmation of this).
Last year, yet again in Palermo, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a horse panicked and bolted, causing quite a bit of damage.
Two years ago an incident occurred in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, when a horse bolted with its carriage and was hit by two cars, one of which was that of the then Home Office Minister Luciana Lamorgese (see the video). In the same year, two horses collapsed with heatstroke within days of each other. IHP wrote a letter to the Mayor and the relevant Councillor, but never received a reply.
IHP has always campaigned against the use of horses pulling carriages for the general public, which we consider a form of slavery – and frequently of mistreatment – which should be abolished immediately. These incidents reported here are just the tip of the iceberg, and we need to keep in mind that those horses suffer daily exploitation, against their will, and in circumstances that they find very difficult to cope with. Moreover they are deprived of their basic needs, given that their lives consist of pulling a carriage, and being shut in a stable.