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Horse-drawn carriages to be banned on Istanbul islands

(Xinhua)    14:34, December 24, 2019

TURKEY-ISTANBUL-HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES-BAN

Photo taken on April 21, 2019 shows a horse-drawn carriage on Princes' Islands in Istanbul, Turkey. The mayor of Istanbul announced on Dec. 23 that horse-drawn carriages on the city's islands would be permanently banned following a recent outbreak of glanders. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)

ISTANBUL, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The mayor of Istanbul announced on Monday that horse-drawn carriages on the city's islands would be permanently banned following a recent outbreak of glanders.

Speaking at a press conference, Ekrem Imamoglu said electric and rubber-tire vehicles would be adopted instead from the summer months next year on Princes' Islands, an archipelago off Istanbul in the Marmara Sea.

"Their sizes and designs will be in harmony with the life on the islands," the mayor added.

Horses were used for phaetons as the main transportation means on Princes' Islands, which are among popular tourist attractions in Istanbul.

The phaetons were suspended for three months by the governor of Istanbul after 81 infected horses were killed last week when the plague was detected during a health check of horses, donkeys and mules on the islands.

Imamoglu said some residents have been demanding a total of 35 phaetons to be kept for touristic purposes on several islands.

"But, I am personally against this proposal as well," he stated, noting the discussions on the issue have been going on.

Environmental groups and activists have long been asking the authorities to halt the rides as the horses are struggling with diverse illnesses and fatigue as a result of malnutrition and neglect.


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