Every summer this issue rears it’s ugly heads and it makes me mad to the point of almost crying when I walk around Valletta and see people hopping into the horse and carts in Malta. In Malta, summer temperatures regularly breach 30 – 35ºC and often have a ‘real feel’ of more like 38 – 45ºC.
I know when you’re wandering around that it can feel too hot and the idea of jumping into a shaded carriage with a horse doing all the work sounds lovely. But get a clue! If it’s hot for you, how hot do you think it is for a 800 – 1000kg horse, lugging a cart, a fat f*ck of a driver and you and your friends around uneven, cobbled roads?
There are so many more things to do in Malta than torture these beautiful animals.
Horse Collapses and Dies in Malta 2018
In the past two weeks, two horses collapsing have made the news, one of which died on the spot. Now I am no vet but I can tell you that healthy, happy horses do not just drop down onto the floor, unconscious or dead.
I am a relatively well travelled person, I see horse and carts being offered without so much uproar in many countries. In Krakow they have beautiful white horses, adorned in formal dress-wear pulling elaborately decorated cards, directed by gentlemen in top hats. But they also have the load shared between 2 – 4 horses, they don’t operate in the heat that we do in Malta and the horses look clean and healthy.
Karozzin: Just a Maltese Tradition?
The horse and carts in Malta, or ‘karozzins’ are not a quaint national tradition. Speak to almost any Maltese person and they’ll be as disgusted as I am in this tourist attraction. We don’t want them and we especially don’t want them in such inhospitable conditions as the height of summer.
Here in Malta, tourists are forcing these poor, clearly unhappy and unhealthy horses to drag them around in heat that is unbearable to most of us. It’s an absolute disgrace and if you’re reading this and you have taken one of the horse and carts in Malta, I really do hope you feel ashamed. You are allowing these horses to be mistreated. You’re encouraging it.
Be Part of the Change
A recent poll in the Times of Malta, indicated that an absolutely enormous 80% of participants wanted the horse and carriages in Malta to stop operating during summer, with a healthy portion wanting them stopped all year round.
Join over 23,000 other people in signing this petition to put a stop to this ‘tradition’ and if you really want to make a statement, make sure to join the protest in Valletta tomorrow (Saturday 11th August).
Keeping fit and healthy is good for horses so I don’t think it’s neccessarily imperative that they are stopped entirely but the industry needs a total overhaul and to be properly regulated. They need to stop running during the hottest seasons, reasonable working hours, reasonable carriage loads, better and more regular health checkups and to have some kind of governing body making sure they are being taken care of.
Horses that are covered in marks and scars, visibly underweight and unkempt, foaming at the mouth and visible distressed have a right to be protected from the animals (us humans) who are forcing them into that state.