Olhão gets tough on slack horse owners

After a number of accidents involving loose horses on Portugal’s roads, one borough council is getting tough. Olhão is bringing in new rules to crack down on slack horse owners following a series of accidents, including one where a horse was cut in half on railway tracks. With luck, the new moves will reduce the risk of traffic accidents in the holiday season.
The council has drawn up a list of fines that could reach as much as €2,500, writes Correio da Manhã newspaper.
As well as making it illegal to abandon an animal, the rules include penalties for owners who leave their animals to graze on land that isn’t fenced.
Anyone who drives along the EN125 highway will be aware of the number of horses insecurely tethered on roundabouts, for instance.
This will now be illegal – at least in Olhão – and it is thought that other town councils will follow.
Meantime, GNR police were busy again at the weekend in the Algarve rounding up ‘stray horses’ on the EN2 at Chelote and on the EN125 in Patacão, near Faro.
Says CM: “The authorities are worried about the frequency with which large animals are detected roaming free on Algarve roads.”
But it is not only in the Algarve. The worst road accidents have taken place elsewhere. Just after Christmas last year, an entire family was killed when a loose horse collided with a vehicle on a major road just outside Évora.
Since then, the problem of apparently ownerless animals has escalated.
Olhão’s “get tough” rules are expected to come into force within about a month.