Just under a month has passed since the enactment of a law which safeguards karozzini horses from the blazing summer sun, but the MSPCA shelter has serious doubts about how much it’s being enforced.
“While we applaud the government’s attempt to ease the situation, we believe that the new regulations fall considerably short of offering horses actual protection,” the MSPCA said in a Facebook post.
The MSPCA wants stricter regulationsToday marks a year from the horrible death of Gringu; a horse that collapsed and…
As per the new law, no karozzin may be used on any roads between 1pm and 4pm between 1st July and 31st August, karozzin trips cannot exceed 45 minutes, karozzin horses cannot carry more than four passengers and no horse can work on two consecutive days.
Animal Welfare officers have the power to remove any animal and animal-drawn vehicle which is in breach of the law.
However, the MSPCA warned that the Animal Welfare Directorate has a shortage of resources, so much so that attempts to call its animal cruelty hotline to report infringements of the karozzini law ended with no response.
“Police officers should all be informed of the new regulations and enforce them in the absence of animal welfare officers,” it said.
In comments to TVM, MSPCA official Chris Pace went a step further and said he doubts whether the law spreading horses’ weekly workloads over consecutive days can be enforced at all.
“I can’t understand how this law can be enforced if [karozzin riders] aren’t obliged to microchip their horses and to keep a register of which horses were used on which days and for long.”
The law has also angered the association of karozzin riders, which has filed a judicial protest demanding the scrapping of the law, which it warns is denying them income during the peak tourist months.
“People keep approaching us in the afternoon to ask for a ride and we keep telling them to wait till after 4pm,” the association’s president Kevin Debono told TVM. “We are ready to find a solution but definitely not to stop working at noon. How can it be that we stop working at a time when we should be earning something for ourselves, our families and our horses?