THE Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (PACMA) has urged the central government to ban the use of horses at fairs and pilgrimages.

PACMA has called for the current Animal Welfare Act to be modified to prohibit the use of horses at fairs and pilgrimages due to the ‘levels of stress and discomfort’ that can be experienced by equines ‘in noisy and crowded environments’.

In a statement, PACMA has warned of the number of accidents involving horses at fairs and pilgrimages in recent years, specifically in Andalucia.

In fact, the last month has seen several tragic horse-related incidents take place in Southern Spain including the death of a horse in the middle of the Sevilla feria at the beginning of May, followed by six people injured, one seriously, after being run over by a horse carriage in Dos Hermanas, then the spectacular fall of another equine hooked to the anchoring system a horse-drawn carriage.

“An Animal Welfare Act must guarantee precisely what it preaches, and the use of animals in fairs and pilgrimages often forces animals to go outside their comfort zone and causes problems.” said the vice-president of PACMA, lawyer and candidate for the Andalucian Regional Government, Cristina Garcia.

“The prohibition of their use in ferias is urgent to avoid more deaths and accidents”, Garcia added.

Furthermore, the Animalist Party has highlighted a report by the Association of Veterinary Abolitionists of Bullfighting and Animal Abuse (AVATMA) which indicated that “a fair, with a very high noise level full of objects, lights and people in movement, can lead to a high degree of chronic stress to animals due to the impossibility of fleeing from that situation”.

For this reason, PACMA has called for the ‘protection of animals’ during ferias and pilgrimages maintaining that ‘they are not essential in these activities’ and that the government should put the ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ health of the animals first instead of the ‘economic interests of those who make a living from them.’

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