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Horse-drawn carriages in the Yucatán capital. Horse-drawn carriages in the Yucatán capital.

Mérida carriage drivers would switch to electric power if given support

Drivers' spokesman says each electric-powered carriage would cost 700,000 pesos

After years of complaints of animal abuse by activists, carriage drivers in Mérida, Yucatán, said they are ready to use electric carriages if authorities help pay for the change, according to Eduardo Echeverría, president of the carriage drivers’ union.

However, “we definitely do not have the economic means for this investment,” Echeverría said, noting that each electric vehicle would cost upward of 700,000 pesos (US $35,280).

With regard to animal abuse, Echeverría said there had only been isolated incidents and not a pattern of abuse.

“Animal abuse does not exist, it is the ideology of a group of people who demonize us. Our job is legal and one of the oldest professions in the city. It’s dignified work,” he said. “ The horse doesn’t work all day or every day, only seven or eight hours. We have an agreement with the Autonomous University of Yucatán for professional horse care. They have a good life, good food, good care.”

Echeverría noted that an animal rights group protested last weekend, demanding that the carriages be changed from horse-driven to electric.

“We would be in agreement, but we don’t have the money to invest … the municipal and state authorities would have to help us,” he said.

The first electric carriage began to circulate in Mérida in November 2019. It was a project funded by the local Green Party.

A year later some carriage drivers switched to gasoline engines.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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