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Activists criticise Civic Coalition MPs over lack of plan for Morskie Oko horses

Activists criticise Civic Coalition MPs over lack of plan for Morskie Oko horses

Image source: © Ratujmy konie z Morskiego Oka / Facebook
Weronika Paliczka,
18.03.2024 12:15

There is a heated debate concerning the Morskie Oko horses being exploited in the Tatra Mountains. Pro-animal foundations are fighting to improve their fate. Recently, the Viva! Foundation responded to comments made by Civic Coalition MPs. How dire is the situation?

Animal exploitation is still prevalent in many countries, including Poland. Unfortunately, there are places in our country where animals are treated as commodities and discarded when they no longer meet expectations. One such instance is observed on the route to Morskie Oko, where horses are used to pull carts overloaded with tourists on a daily basis.

What fate awaits the Morskie Oko horses?

The Viva! Foundation has documented that up to 61% of horses from Morskie Oko have met their fate in the slaughterhouse between 2012 and 2022. It is estimated that the typical horse labours for approximately 36 months before its body starts to give in.

The average lifespan of a Morskie Oko horse stands at 11 years, while, under optimal conditions, horses can thrive for up to 30 years. Disturbingly, numerous photographs and videos circulating on the internet depict horses in their final moments. Some unfortunate animals stumble while still harnessed to carts. Pulling carts to the famous lake in the Tatra Mountains causes severe damage to the animals' legs or spines, making a pain-free existence impossible.

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Civic Coalition MPs fail to see the problem?

The topic of the Morskie Oko horses was recently discussed in the Sejm. One of the politicians who spoke on the issue was Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak. She expressed her concern about the harassment that people who use horse-drawn transportation on the route to Morskie Oko face from various organisations. According to her, highlanders love horses more than their own babies.

Joanna Kluzik-Roztkowska also expressed her support for horse owners and said that the demand to give up the use of these animals in Morskie Oko doesn't make sense. She clarified that there is no question of overload or hard work of the horses for many hours, and the idea is absolute nonsense.

According to Anna Plaszczyk, an activist from the Viva! Foundation, the MPs' decision to discuss animal suffering with those who support animal transport was shocking. Plaszczyk said, "Everything was supposed to change on 15 October! The Civic Coalition had promised in the electoral campaign to listen to citizens, which had not happened during the eight years of its predecessors' government."

Plaszczyk further expressed her disappointment, saying, "Meanwhile, we have just been slapped in the face in the Sejm with this promise. First, we were not invited to the discussion, and when we came to present factual evidence of horse exploitation, we were called hysterics with unclear intentions." Plaszczyk also pointed out that public support for the abolition of unethical horse transport to Morskie Oko has reached almost 70%, and these are primarily voters of the current ruling coalition.

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