More checks as Fiaker horse dies

Vienna city hall chiefs have promised to increase the number of checks on Fiaker horse carriage drivers after a Wallach horse died at a tourist hotspot in the heart of the capital.The six-year-old animal collapsed and perished at the Heldenplatz Square on Sunday – just a stone’s throw from the Hofburg Palace which features the popular Sisi Museum. Vets said the horse probably died of a cerebral apoplexy.Now Social Democratic (SPÖ) Councillor Ulli Sima vowed that her team will carry out more random checks on the Fiaker horses’ health and the conditions in which they are kept.Hundreds of tourists pay between 40 and 80 Euros everyday to go for a ride on one of Vienna’s dozens horse-drawn carriages around the city centre or through the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace.Animal activists organised several street demonstrations over the past years to highlight the alleged poor conditions in which Fiaker horses are being kept by their owners in the stifling heat of summertime and the chilling subzero temperatures of winter.