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Outcry over “clean-up” of carriage horses

Carriage horses in Vienna are at the centre of a row after plans are announced for the introduction of equine “nappies”

Demonstrators wearing nappies spelling out “stop pooh bags” lined up in front of the former imperial Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, last week to protest against plans for all carriage horses in the city to wear a “nappy”.

Carriage rides are popular with tourists looking for tours of the city, but officials are planning to introduce a law forcing the horses to wear a bag to cut down on the droppings left on the streets.

The carriage drivers, known as Faiker, and animal rights organisation Four Paws have joined forces to campaign against the new rule as they believe the nappy will cause the horses discomfort.

“The bags will restrict the horse’s movement and make the horses sore where they scrub against the skin,” claims Four Paws spokesperson Attila Cerman.

“There is also the problem with the horses’ tails. They will be hanging in the droppings all day and will become matted. The horses will also be unable to use them as protection against the flies.”

Four Paws believes reducing the number of carriages in the city and employing more clean up teams would be a better way to manage the problem. However, city officials claim the clean up cost would be in the region of £500,000 a year.

“There are too many carriages in Vienna,” continues Attila Cerman. “Numbers could be reduced so each Faiker takes more tourists each day. This would also reduce the amount of droppings.”

Four Paws would also like the council to improve the areas where the carriages wait to collect tourists by ensuring there is water for the horses and areas of shade for them to rest between customers.

Carriages used for tourists’ rides in some statesof America are often fitted with a bucket to prevent droppings soiling the streets.

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