One of the horses used for
the horse-drawn carriages is seen off-duty. Screenshot via DailyMail
Horse-drawn carriages are popular tourist attractions in many areas. It’s considered one of the more interesting ways to see the city or town and might even be considered romantic. In Acapulco, Mexico, tourists can ride in Cinderella-style horse-drawn carriages for 30 minutes for $14.22.
“I don’t enjoy beating my horse, but sometimes he gives me no choice,” Jose Alberto Ramirez, one of the carriage drivers, told The Daily Mail. “You have to remember that these are wild animals and that the only thing they understand is violence.”
Another carriage driver, Rafael Gonzalez, responded to claims that he leaves his horses tethered on his property without food and only sewage water to drink. He told The Daily Mail, “They’re my property and I have nowhere else to keep them. They often become aggressive and try to bite me; if I left them anywhere else they could injure a tourist.”
The Mexican government is now reportedly looking into the situation, and planning on initiating a ban beginning in 2017. Animal rights organization AnimalNaturalis leader Leonara Esquivel told The Daily Mail, “These animals are not objects that can be used for the fleeting pleasure of humans and we are glad that Mexico’s government has seen the suffering that such practices cause.”
It should be noted, however, that not all of the horses are subjected to these same conditions. The Daily Mail reports that Orlando Vallejo is the president of Acapulco’s horse-drawn carriage drivers’ union and says that any mistreatment of the horses would put every driver out of business. “We have our horses cared for 24 hours a day and they see a vet once every six months,” he said. “We hold our own drivers to account over the state of their animals, but we can’t speak for every driver in Acapulco. The few individuals who treat their animals like dirt are going to end up putting 200 people out of business.”
Vallejo and other drivers are planning on fighting the ban, since many families depend on the income from the horse-drawn carriages for survival.
“The government says that when the ban takes effect they’ll confiscate my animals without paying me a penny,” Vallejo told The Daily Mail. “But I’ll be damned if I allow that, I’ll sell them off to whoever wants them before that happens, even if that means local criminals.”
To see images, visit DailyMail.com.