CASERTA, ITALY - Many activities are made available to tourists all over Europe during the summer, and among them are horse-drawn carriage rides. However, one would think with extreme heat that animals would be spared from suffering in this kind of heat just for our amusement. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
A horse collapses in front of tourists in Italy
On August 12, 2020, in the town of Caserta, Italy, a horse pulling a group of five tourists in a carriage died of exhaustion, in front of the shocked tourists. This was inevitable because of the conditions; it was 36 degrees, the air was unbreathable, there were too many tourists, and the horse was tired from having to pull six people. The animal fell to the ground before the eyes of the passers-by, who then filmed the scene.
A national disgrace
This incident soon became known throughout the world. The footage of the horse falling to the ground in the middle of the heatwave went viral, causing MP Michela Vittoria Brambilla to describe the event as a ‘national disgrace.’
A practice denounced by animal rights activists
This practice is regularly denounced by animal rights activists as the organisers of horse-drawn carriage rides are often accused of mistreating the horses. Trotting on asphalt can be painful, plus the stress of city noise and the strain of pulling something heavy is also detrimental to the horses. Finally, during busy tourist periods such as the summer holidays, the horses are used all day long and are only rarely given time to rest.