‘Pay karrozzini drivers to give up licence’, animal rights organisation says

Malta SPCA suggests state-funded sanctuary for horses and golden handshake for traditional horse-cabby drivers

The Malta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) has proposed giving horse-cabby drivers a golden handshake to relinquish their licence. 

The society said due to COVID-19, there has been an absence of karozzini on the street. It said this was down to a lack of tourism and that even after the reopening of airports, the number of karozzini on the streets has diminished.

The MSPCA said currently there are 111 registered carriages in Malta, a high number for such a small island.

“We are concerned about what the future looks like for these horses if cabby drivers don’t have enough work to maintain them,” the society said.

MSPCA animal rights manager Althea Galea said they propose that the government offer half the drivers a sum to relinquish their lenience and start a new business. It said this would leave 55 licenced drivers.

It said the relinquished horses should not be killed, and instead Animal Welfare should set up a state-funded sanctuary for horses. 

The MSPCA added that Israel was the first country to ban horse-drawn carriages, which has been followed by several cities in the US.