Animal rights group wants Vienna horse carriage ban 

27th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

PETA has been campaigning for years against horse-drawn carriages, which operate in Vienna, Berlin and New York.

Vienna -- Animal rights group PETA is calling for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in Vienna, a tourist magnet in the Austrian capital, after one of the animals died during a recent drive.

The horse collapsed on Saturday after a heart attack, although it was barely eight years old, the Austrian branch of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said in a statement.

The death followed another incident in early January when two horses set off without their driver, trailing a carriage with three tourists on board on a wild ride through the streets of Vienna.

"It's no wonder that even young horses die of heart attacks when they're forced to pull heavy carriages day after day for hours on end through heavy traffic," said Tanja Breining of PETA Austria. "That causes mental and physical stress that dramatically lowers their life expectancy."

PETA has been campaigning for years against horse-drawn carriages, known in Vienna as "Fiaker," in the streets of Berlin and New York.

The German capital even created special lanes for carriages after a horse broke down in the middle of the street last year.

But these will not prevent further accidents, according to PETA.

Vienna has about 60 "Fiaker" that take tourists around the main sights and old cobble-stoned streets all year long.


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