Animal Liberation Malta call for end to karozzini in Mdina protest

Animal rights group say other European cities have moved towards banning horse-drawn carriages, insisting practice should be stopped in Malta

Activists from Animal Liberation Malta blocked the Mdina bridge during the protest
Activists from Animal Liberation Malta blocked the Mdina bridge during the protest

A group of animal activists on Saturday carried out a protest at Mdina calling for an end to horse-drawn carriages, known as karozzini.

Animal Liberation Malta blocked the Mdina bridge, saying karozzini are a form of animal exploitation.

During the protest activists chanted “Din Moħqrija – Mhux tradizzjoni” and “It’s not entertainment – it’s slavery” just meters away from the Karozzini venda.   

“Given that we live in a fully motorised world there is no need or function for them. Karozzini today only serve as a tourist attraction,” the group said in a statement. “Animal Liberation Malta states that from a tourism standpoint there is a global move against horse drawn carriages with more and more cities around the world taking the step to banning this cruel practice.”

“Mediterranean cities, also heavily dependent on tourism like Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca are taking bold steps on horse drawn carriages. The Spanish city council of Palma de Mallorca has announced a ban on horse draw carriages as from 2024. Their intention is that all horse drawn carriages will be replaced with electric carriages,” the group said.

The group said it believes that a transition to the mentioned electric model would be an ideal solution for Malta.

“We recommend that Transport Malta should issue a special grant for cabby drivers for them to go electric. Apart from the transition to electrification, we also propose that no new licences for cabby drivers should be issued,” it said.

They said a grandfather clause should be triggered whereby existing horses will be allowed to continue working, yet upon retiring the cabby owner cannot replace the horse with a new horse but rather go to an electric option.