Victory for Turkish animal rights movement: Istanbul bans horse-drawn carriages

21 januari 2020

Last week, after years of political lobbying, Turkish animal rights activists booked a major victory: Istanbul has banned horse-drawn carriages, which were responsible for much animal suffering.

Animal rights activist Zülal Kalkandelen with Istanbul's Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu.

Following the killing of 105 horses due to the outbreak of glanders in Buyukada, the largest of Istanbul's nine Princes' Islands, Istanbul's Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu kept his promise to the Turkish animal rights movement and banned horse-drawn carriages on the islands.

The Istanbul officials announced yesterday that electric cars will replace the horse-drawn carriages on Istanbul's Princes Islands and the horses will be transferred to a wildlife refuge.

Animal rights groups in Turkey have been demanding a halt to the horse-drawn carriage services for many years, saying that more than 1,000 horses on the islands are mistreated. Dozens of them die each year due to lack of adequate veterinary services and being forced to pull carriages uphill on the asphalt roads under the scorching sun. The poor conditions of more than 1,500 horses on the islands have been frequently criticized by animal rights groups in Turkey.

The Turkish animal rights defenders are part of the international political movement for animal rights and our planet, supported by the Dutch Party for the Animals.