A plan to sedate more than 300 horses stabled at Belgrade's racecourse to keep them calm during a Rolling Stones concert there has enraged Serb animal lovers who are lobbying to have the gig moved to another venue.
The concert is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the Hippodrome, Belgrade's largest fenced space. The horses will be only a few metres from the stage.
"Horses differ, the same as people. Some are more nervous, more skittish," said hostler Jovanka Prelic. "If they get too nervous or start to panic during the concert, they'll get sedatives."
Serbia's biggest animal protection society, ORCA, says holding the concert there would be extremely harmful to the horses, and sedating them is not the answer.
The animal protection group "said that if it failed to convince the organizers to change the concert venue, it would contact the Rolling Stones directly and ask them to use their influence." I'm going to venture that their plea will likely fall on deaf ears, as 114 years playing in a rock band will do that to you. Even if the message gets through to them, the Stones might just ask for some of what the horses are getting.