The 🎄Christmas season is high season for the 🐎Vienna Fiaker. Regardless of whether it is icy cold or the risk of slipping when wet, the horse-drawn carriages are always on the go. One carriage after the other travels through the tourist crowds in downtown Vienna. For the horses this means anything but a “contemplative time”. Vienna has so much more to offer than animal suffering.
Sad but true: the Vienna Fiaker tours are not missing from any travel guide, which are listed as a “must”. Numerous pictures of the horses stretched in front of the carriages can be seen. This should convey the right Vienna flair and make you want to visit the Danube metropolis. But traveling is different in the 21st century. Animals are sentient beings who feel suffering as much as we humans.
And the animals suffer.
Education is important to draw attention to the suffering of horses. Because many don’t know that
➡️ horses have a high risk of falling and injury due to the uneven and slippery floor.
➡️ they need constant access to roughage, which is hardly possible in the city.
➡️ the horses suffer from traffic stress, noise and hustle and bustle in the city center.
In spring 2019 we asked the publishers of the largest travel guides as well as a city tour provider and a large travel platform what the level of awareness of the suffering of the Fiaker is and whether they are willing to no longer advertise the Fiaker as an attraction or to present it more critically. We have observed the main editions of the travel guides:
Big Bus Vienna = romantic carriage ride
Dumont = a must
Lonely Planet = best city tour
Marco Polo = expensive, but great pleasure
Polyglott on Tour = tourist icons
Trip Advisor = Recommendations by users possible
And under “Animal Welfare Problems ?” there is an outrageous X!!
Cause for concern
Not only from an animal welfare point of view, but also from a safety point of view, fiasco tours are extremely questionable. It becomes clear here how great the risk potential is in the city center. The driver himself says that it is not always possible to control the animals. This is also proven by the frequent accidents in downtown Vienna.
From an animal welfare point of view, it is unacceptable to say that the drivers do not feed the animals in the city, but “only at night in the stable”. Horses need continuous access to roughage, everything else is cruelty to animals. The animals’ digestive system should always get small portions of hay, because it is not suitable for long feeding breaks. These can lead to serious health problems such as painful stomach ulcers and colic.
That is also a fact, of course: last year, the Inner City district itself estimated the annual repair costs of the road surface as a result of the horse-drawn carriage rides at 750,000 euros.
With your petition you send a protest email prepared by us to Lonely Planet, Polyglott, Marco Polo, Dumont and TripAdvisor. This email will be sent from your (private) email address.
By sending the email, you give your consent for the companies mentioned above to receive mail from your email address.
Sign our petition now and call for better living conditions for the Fiaker horses.
https://www.vier-pfoten.at/kampagnen-themen/themen/pferdehilfe/fiaker-tierleid-als-touristenattraktion (The completed mail petition can be found in this link)
My comment: 12 hours in scorching heat or freezing cold, these animals have to pull a massive, heavy carriage behind them, loaded with people who care a shit about the obvious animal suffering.
Because how else could one understand that people pay a lot of money for this primitive pleasure of a carriage ride, even though they have two horses in front of their eyes, with blinders and very often with earplugs, because otherwise they would not be able to stand the noise of the carriages and the traffic?
Without a doubt, these people know instinctively that standing of the horses for a long time at the horse-drawn carriages is a great challenge for their tendons and joints, because they are escape animals, accustomed to movement;
Then there is the pulling of the load on asphalt-like ground. Many of these workhorses suffer from hoof diseases and joint complaints, which will be massive with increasing age.
And even in their ‘free time’ – if we can even speak of ‘free time’ for carriage horses – they usually live a lonely and completely unnatural life.
365 days a year, the official ‘working time’ (of course without calculating the arrival and departure) in winter from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in summer from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The horses are often the reassured-medium Sedalin administered. The animals become apathetic to their environment, they have a reduced sensation of pain and can be easily manipulated.
From August 2017, the Viennese Fiaker may no longer drive at 35 degrees in summer.
Anyone who does not follow this can expect fines of up to 3,500 euros.
But high, low temperatures, less or a lot of work, that’s not the point.
The exploitation of animals for tourism must stop in general and in principle.
Animals are not a tourist attraction, they are not our slaves and they are not our pleasure.
Something like this belongs no longer to a civilized society, and everyone who has not yet understood it, is a primitive, underdeveloped person who deliberately ignores the suffering of animals for a romantic horse-drawn carriage.
Or make money with it, like the politicians who promote it.
My best regards to all, Venus
Latest info: I got a good reaction to my mail! right now:
Dear Ms. Venus …,
Thank you for your email and your critical feedback about our Vienna travel guide.
The welfare of animals is also very important to us and we will pay even more attention to animal welfare when choosing the “attractions” in the future. Our authors are informed and corresponding recommendations will be avoided in the future i.e. deleted in the next issue.
GRÄFE UND UNZER VERLAG GMBH
Your reader service team
Box 86 03 13
Tel: 00800- 7 23 73 333 *
Fax: 00800 – 5 01 20 544 *
Please keep on writing your protest emails!