PETITION TARGETS: Seville Mayor Antonio Muñoz, City Hall Deputy Mayor Delegates
A defenseless horse hauling a tourist-laden carriage died an agonizing death during a record heat wave in Seville, Spain — first collapsing on the side of a busy road, then remaining still while panicked bystanders dumped water over the already-dead animal.
A necropsy revealed that the horse, who was forced to work even after temperatures climbed past 36℃ (98℉), was working while dehydrated and also was suffering from a blood-borne illness caught from ticks, according to news reports.
At the same time, a second horse also showed signs of dehydration but was forced to keep working. And, in a separate incident, another horse pulling a carriage also collapsed, according to news reports.
A video from PACMA, the country’s political party advocating for animal welfare, also reportedly showed a driver kicking a collapsed carriage horse to get the exhausted animal to stand.
Otro caballo desplomado este martes en la Feria de Sevilla. @antoniomunozsev, @Ayto_Sevilla, ¿de verdad os parece que esto da una buena imagen a la ciudad? ¿No os avergüenza? ¡Dejad YA de explotar a los animales!
Desde PACMA ya estamos estudiando posibles acciones legales. pic.twitter.com/MjZZRvhL7D
— PACMA (@PartidoPACMA) April 27, 2023
The owner of the deceased horse is being investigated for animal abuse. But as long as cruel horse-drawn carriages are allowed in Seville, innocent horses likely will continue to suffer and die.
The gruesome cruelty is horrific for the horses — but it’s also not good for tourism. A tourist whose passport stamps put her in Seville around the time of the heartbreaking horse collapses told Lady Freethinker she reportedly observed mistreatment of the animals during her visit, including a driver who reportedly whipped a horse when the tired animal refused to move.
The tourist told LFT she has not recovered emotionally since her trip.
“I am haunted by what I saw,” the tourist said. “If no action is taken I will not return to Seville and would advise others not to visit and certainly not to take a carriage ride.”
The tourist added, “There is so much animal cruelty in the world and to see these horses treated in such a way on the streets of a vibrant, fun, city turns what should have been happy memories into haunted ones. If the authorities don’t take action it doesn’t show a nation who is humane and compassionate to the rest of the world. Why would anyone want to visit?”
It’s time for Seville to save countless lives by banning horse-drawn carriages, as Barcelona has done and as Palma de Mallorca announced they will do starting in 2024, following a similar horse death during a heat wave.
There’s no reason for Seville, a tourist destination renowned for its beauty and rich history, to continue banking tourist dollars off the backs of suffering, sentient animals.
Sign our petition urging Seville’s Mayor and City Hall to immediately implement additional protections for horses in the carriage industry — including prohibitions for horses to work during heat waves — while working quickly to usher in a formal ban on ALL horse-drawn carriages.