Everyone who has witnessed a Maltese summer knows that standing outside on a hot, sticky afternoon can fast become unbearable. It’s a situation karozzin horses have had to grow used to, and some have even paid the ultimate price.
Yet, their conditions are about to get a whole lot better, with a legal notice by the Ministry for the Environment proposing an end to karozzini rides during summer afternoons.
This is what the law proposes in a nutshell:
1. No karozzin may be used on any roads between 1pm and 4pm between 1st July and 31st August
2. A karozzin trip cannot exceed 45 minutes.
3. A karozzin horse cannot carry more than four passengers.
4. A horse’s weekly workload must be spread over alternate days and cannot exceed more than three days over a week.
5. When a horse isn’t working, it must be kept under a horse shelter and provided with water.
6. Animal Welfare Officers will have the power to remove any animal and animal-drawn vehicle which is in breach of the law.
7. Upon their first conviction, following new amendments passed by the Maltese Parliament just this week, lawbreakers will be fined between €2,000 and €65,000.
“We want to strike a balance between traditional aspects and animal welfare needs,” stressed Parliamentary Secretary for animal rights Clint Camilleri when asked for comment.
“Although karozzini carriages have been used for ages locally, we must ensure that priority is also given to the welfare and wellbeing of the horses. I am confident that even the karozzini owners want what is best for their horses.”
“The scope of this legal notice is to ensure that we strike the right balance so that these horses are not just treated like ‘machines’, but given the rightful respect and dignity.”