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Corfu Horse: Owner arrested and fined; video bullying protester (POLL)

The owner of the carriage horse that collapsed and died while pulling a tourist carriage through a downtown street on Corfu on early Thursday afternoon has been arrested and fined 30,000 euros for animal abuse.

At the same time, animal welfare societies stage a protest on Corfu on Friday morning demanding full investigation into the causes that led to the horse death on a hot summer day and at times, where no horse carriage should be in operation.

The horse collapsed and died on a downtown street short after 2 o’ clock Thursday afternoon, when the directive orders carriage owner to have their animals rest between 1 and 5 o’ clock.

The horse’s death in the middle of the street triggered an outrage not only in the local society but also across the country with animal welfare societies and citizens to demand the banning of horse carriages as “outdated.”

According to denouncements the carriage was loaded with a few tourists and the owner when the horse collapsed. The owner is said to have used several times a whip to force the animal to go uphill quickly.

Some claimed also that it was the father of the 76-year-old owner – apparently a as young as at least 96-year-old !!!??? –  who was driving the carriage.

Autopsy report

According to local media, the autopsy carried out a few hours after the horse’s death, did not show evidence of abuse or malnutrition.

However, it showed that the horse suffered from a chronic lung condition and had an untreated lung oedema that made it unsuitable for carriage work.

It was reportedly the first day the 16-year-old horse returned to work after a short illness.

Owner’s relatives claimed on social media that the horse was being taken care of, was given medicines, and that the owner loved his horses for which he spent 300-350 euros per month for their care.

Owner and friends bully protester

In the video recorded by an eyewitness, a passer-by stopped on his bike to express his outrage at the inhumane conditions under which the horse was working.

“I’m running away because you feel sorry for the horse. You have the old bike here. I have 10 horses myself,” the owner is heard telling the intimidated protester, while one of his colleagues rushed to aid him and is ready to assault the protester.

Speaking to ANT1 on Friday, the protester, a pediatric doctor spoke of “harsh intimidation by at least two people.”

Worth noting that the owner was detained and set free on Thursday, however, he was arrested on Friday apparently due to the outrage and the fact that the local prosecutor opened a case file and ultimately also the deputy prosecutor of the Supreme Court asked for full investigation into the horse’s death.

Animal welfare protests

Animal welfare associations on Corfu held a protest on Friday morning holding banners reading “No more dead animals on the altar of profit” and “Corfu won’t become Santorini: stop horse carriages.”

Stressing the absence of legislation and registration for equines, they ccused carriage owners fro animal abuse and also blamed tourists for using the carriages.

“Why do they need a carriage ride, they should go on foot,” a protester underlined.

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Horse abuse on Corfu

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PS it takes two to tango, guys! the carriage owners AND the tourists

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8 comments

  1. A ban should include the Donkeys of Santorini

  2. michele lavender

    I have seen a horse and carraige in Loutraki for tourists on the main road but only in the evening when traffic is reduced and it looked extremely well cared for,loved, and looked a happy horse.It wasnt in the heat of the day.There should be no day time use of horses in the summer here in Greece and owners should be registered with the council with inspectors regularly checking them and the animals.

    • Another ridiculous fine to let the judge pretend that he/she is doing his/her job. As the fine will never be paid the crime will effectively go unpunished.

  3. Any animal, whether it is horses, donkeys or mules, should not have to work under these unnatural conditions! Tourists (and Im one) can walk themselves! Otherwise, take a taxi…. !

  4. Dave van de Gevel

    What moron voted ‘I don’t care’?

  5. Ban,ban,ban..Horses and carriages here on Aegina.It’s not just the tourists that use them,Greek locals too.Shame on all of you!!

  6. The owner’s face and his friends shouldn’t be blurred. If they can shout on the street and bully others, let the world see them for what they are.