Living conditions for Fiaker horses

30 January 2014


Angelika Werthmann (ALDE) 


The living conditions for Fiaker horses in the EU are atrocious. Many animals are forced to work over ten hours a day without having access to water and fodder (the areas where the animals are kept must be provided with both according to animal welfare law). In addition, there are often hardly any exercise areas giving them the opportunity to let off steam in a herd. These animals can only dream of being protected against direct sunlight or being given a break from work when the temperature exceeds 30°C.

1. What action is the Commission taking with regard to these breaches of the legal framework?

2. How does the Commission intend to ensure that the applicable law is also adhered to in the future?

3. Are inspections envisaged?

4. If so, what is the nature of these inspections? 

17 March 2014

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

The use of the fiacre horses is not subject to any EU rule on animal protection and there is no evidence that the protection of animals in this context is a matter for EU competence.

The Commission services are currently working on a European Charter for a Sustainable and Responsible Tourism which aims at encouraging more responsible and sustainable tourism policies and actions across the European Union.

Moreover, in the framework of its actions of support to the development of a sustainable tourism in the EU, the Commission, co-finances the project ‘EUquus — Equestrian tourism routes in Europe’(1) which aims at developing and promoting quality equestrian tourism routes, among others, by drafting a ‘Decalogue of best practices in equestrian tourism’.