Horse Dies From Heat Strokes Pulling Tourists In Cart

Campaigners in Italy have renewed calls for a ban on tourist carriage rides after a horse collapsed and died in the summer heat.

The horse died in the grounds of the Royal Palace of Caserta in the Campania region of southwestern Italy on Tuesday 12th of August.

Images of the animal, which is believed to have suffered heat exhaustion, were quickly shared on the internet with campaigners branding it “shameful” and “a meaningless death for business, entertaining tourists, and maybe taking a selfie”.

The Royal Palace, a popular tourism spot near Naples, suspended its carriage service from today, Thursday 13th of August, as a result of the death.

The Association for the National Protection of Animals (ENPA) threatened legal action. Massimo Pignoni, its vice president, said: “It’s absurd that nowadays we still use animals for these purposes… even in the light of accredited scientific knowledge that demonstrates, without doubt, that animals suffer and suffer exactly like we do.”

Credit: @francescoemilio.borrelli/Real Press
The horse after collapsing

ENPA claimed the Royal Palace’s horses had been carrying tourists “at full load” despite the soaring temperatures.

It added: “The (subsequent) autopsy will ascertain the cause for which the poor animal collapsed to the ground, lifeless, while carrying a carriage full of tourists on a hot day.”

Regional councillor Francesco Emilio Borrelli, who took the pictures of the horse, called for an end to “barbaric and shameful” carriage rides.

The local politician, who represents the Greens, said: “If we humans suffer a lot from the heat at this time, imagine what it’s like for horses carrying a carriage full of people under the sun.”

He called for the municipal police to enforce any orders prohibiting horse-drawn carriages riding during the hottest hours of the day, to introduce them to areas where they did not currently apply, and to parks and historical monuments in general.

In a statement, the Royal Palace said: “This morning one of the horses of the carriage service, managed by the Tnt company, has passed away. The competent bodies are carrying out all the checks that the case requires in these hours. Service is suspended. We are deeply sorry for this.”

On social media scores of people criticised the carriage rides.

Replying to the Royal Palace on Twitter, ‘Luca Sepe’ said: “Enough of using horses to carry carriages! Try pulling a carriage yourselves every day full of tourists on a sunny day and then you will understand how it feels. Now is the time to change because otherwise it will happen again.”

Meanwhile, Federica Sarno said on Facebook: “The situation doesn’t need to be controlled but abolished! It’s unthinkable that in 2020 (these) carriages still exist.”

Horse-drawn carriage rides remain a steady tourist attraction in Italy, but have courted controversy in recent years when horses have collapsed under the Mediterranean temperatures.

High-profile incidents include the 2008 death of Birillo the horse, near Rome’s Colosseum, which was captured on camera. Then in 2012, another horse collapsed in 40-degree heat as it carried tourists in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna.

In September 2017 dramatic images showed a horse collapsing in Sicily as it pulled a newly married couple up a hill.

Temperatures in Caserta have been as high as 34 degrees in recent days.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Nic BrunettiSub Editor:  Alex CopeAgency: Real Press

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