TO: Chania MPs
Mayor of Chania
ATTENTION: Ministry of Rural Development and Food
LETTER ABOUT HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Collegialities listed below would like to express their deep concern and indignation about the fact that horses continue to be used for pulling carriages in the city of Chania.
We strongly believe that the time has come for this practice to be abolished on moral grounds, following the example of other European countries.
Horses are exposed to physical and emotional abuse on a daily basis, as we have all seen being citizens of Chania. Also, they are in a continuous danger to die from heatstroke or dehydration.
These exhausted animals are suffering because of hard working conditions and exhaustive programs. They are exposed to extreme weather conditions and their resting periods are inadequate. Apart from being morally unacceptable, these conditions could be extremely dangerous for the safety of horses, drivers and pedestrians.
Unfortunately, the recent incident in Corfu of a horse which collapsed in the street and finally died has proved that horses are slaves of the tourist industry in cruelty conditions.
Citizens of Chania are determined to deterrent a similar incident to take place in the city. Chania is a well-known city for progressive values making its citizens very proud.
The existence of horse-drawn carriages is in direct contrast to these values. In famous tourist cities (Rome, Paris, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Majorca) they have already been banned by the town’s council decision giving priority to animal welfare and respect.
It should be noted that as regards the island of Crete, only in Chania this practice continues to exist.
An end must be put to the abuse and exploitation of these proud animals. The local Municipal Authority must not ignore complaints of animal welfare societies and the outcry of citizens and tourists. This immoral practice is shameful for our city.
You are obliged to take immediate steps to phase out the use of horse-drawn carriages.
In the context of this change, we would like to propose the following measures:
-Committee of experts to assess the welfare and health of horses
-Incentives to coachmen to alternative form of employment (i.e., electric bicycles)
-Plan for the future of these horses in order to be transported to accredited shelters, if it is necessary
-The ultimate goal should be the total ban of horse-drawn carriages, the revocation of licenses, commitment from the local town council that they will not be returned in the future
We show trust to your commitment for the welfare of human and non-human animals in our city, we believe that you will take into account our concerns. Horses must be handled with respect and compassion.
Chania must move forward, leaving behind once and for all any cruel, outdated and repressive practice.
“Chania Animal Protection”
“The Island” Chania Animal Welfare Association
Association of Akrotiri Citizens for the protection of sea turtle
Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation (PFPO)
Animal Welfare Federation of Greece