A horse-drawn taxi service in Bath risks losing its licence because the horses keep fouling the city’s highways

Bath and North East Somerset Council says it has received “several complaints” from local residents and traders about dung left by horses of the Bath Carriage Company, owned by Davey MacDonald.

“It is part of the conditions of his licence that he clears up after his horses,” said a spokesman for the council, “so we have reminded him of this.”

The renewal of Mr MacDonald’s licence is due tomorrow (Thursday 31 May). He told H&H that the council’s stipulation that he fixes a device to his horses to collect the droppings is “impractical”.

“I’ll put nappies on my horses on Thursday to get my plate but on Friday I’ll leave them off,” he said.

The device would resemble a canvass bag attached to the tail and suspended between the horse’s legs.

“It’s ridiculous and dangerous to have a bag of crap slung between my horses’ legs,” said Mr MacDonald. “It would chafe their skin and interfere with the harness. If they trot fast it could really unsettle them.”

Similar devices are used with horse-drawn carriages on the sea front in Great Yarmouth.

There has been public speculation that a bylaw might be introduced in Bath which could see all horse owners fined if they fail to clean up their animal’s mess. The council denied it had any plans to introduce such a bylaw.