The shocking image goes around Italy every time: A horse pulling a cart collapses, in the middle of a heat wave, in a tourist town center, in the middle of frightened passers-by.
An animal died last year not far from the royal palace in Caserta, near Naples, which caused enormous emotions. This year, for the month of July alone, the peninsula has already registered three similar accidents, including one fatality.
A dead horse in Matera
On July 1 at noon, in the troglodyte city of Matera, in the south of the country (Basilicata), a horse collapsed in the middle of a walk under a burning sun, never to rise again, probably the victim of a heart attack, reports Matera news.
On the same day, another animal collapsed in Florence with more than 35 degrees in the avenue leading to the famous Duomo. He was finally able to regain his senses and his gait.
Finally, this Sunday, a third horse fell at the end of the evening right in front of the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, in front of hundreds of tourists. He stayed on the ground for a long time before getting up. Animal Advocates, quoted by La Repubblica, explains that “hours of work in the heat caused problems for the animal, which could no longer stand it”. The driver of the wagon assured him that he had slipped while trying to catch food.
Faced with these repeated accidents, reports Ilgiornal, the Italian Association for the Defense of Animals and the Environment (AIDA&A) has called for the shutdown of all horse-drawn carriages in Italy this summer, including those used for funerals or weddings. The same demand for horse racing as the famous Palio of Siena, held in mid-August, where horses are often injured.
“We therefore wonder how many horses will have to die before we can seriously begin to put an end to these activities,” write the animal advocates.
No horse-drawn carriages during the hottest hours
Without going that far, many municipalities have accepted orders to prohibit the circulation of horse-drawn vehicles in the middle of the day. It is thus prohibited from 11.30 to 16.30 in Pisa, and from 11.00 to 18.00 on the hottest days in Rome.
AIDA&A, for its part, has filed a complaint for cruelty to animals regarding the fatal accident in Matera.