“A mutual agreement between the owners and the SPCA, has been reached and once the carriage operation resumes it will be with restricted hours, 7-8:30am and evenings during summer months,” the SPCA said.
This follows after a horse recently collapsed in Dockyard, prompting an online petition entitled “Keep the horses out of the heat” which has attained over 2,000 signatures.
“The Bermuda SPCA agree that not enough has been done to prevent an incident such as the collapse of the carriage horse this week from occurring. Licenses for carriage horse operations should not be granted by the Department of Environmental Protection until provisions have been put in place for shelter and water at the site of tour operations,” a statement on the SPCA’s website said.
“A major concern of the SPCA is the wellbeing of the Island’s carriage horses. The charity is sensitive that carriage operations are the livelihood for the operators and if these businesses cease to exist the welfare of the horses will again be in question.
“However this is not an excuse to work animals in adverse condition such as extreme heat and humidity exasperated by tarmacked roads and heavy exhaust fumes from mopeds, taxis and tour buses.
“The current Animal Legislation does not go far enough to protect the welfare of the Island’s animals and need to require basic preventative measure as shelter and water for working animals,” the SPCA added.
“WEDCo is currently working with the Bermuda SPCA to formulate an on-going relationship where the SPCA will be able to provide service on WEDCo’s behalf to assist in improving animal protection on WEDCo lands. WEDCo already provides running water to the carriage operators.
“The SPCA acknowledges contrary to recent comments that WEDCO does not promote the business of operating carriage horses in Dockyard. They have been supportive by providing running water in an effort to assist the horses.
“The public should also be aware that WEDCo is not the licensing body for this type of operation nor does WEDCo have input into the granting of a license for stables or carriages as these are awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection and a carriage licenses through the Transport Control Department.
“The SPCA has had various discussions with the Dr. Coombs, Board Certified Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine of large domestic animals and the vet on record for the Marquis Ranch and has visited the property and horses. The horses in question were certified fit for work as required by the Care And Protection Of Animals [Commercial Horse Stables] [Licensing] Regulation 2005.
“The SPCA has met with the owners and visited the horses involved. The owners are cooperating fully and have provided the SPCA full access to their horses and medical records” says Sarah Haycock Tafur, SPCA President.
“We are pleased to report that the horses are under vet care and will not return to work until they have made a full recovery and open wounds have healed.
“A mutual agreement between the owners and the SPCA, has been reached and once the carriage operation resumes it will be with restricted hours, 7-8:30am and evenings during summer months,” the SPCA added.
“The SPCA wishes to thank those who assisted the horse in need, those who have spoken out regarding the welfare of these animals and WEDCO for coming to the table willingly to assist the SPCA in protecting the horses until much needed changes can be made to the Care And Proctection Of Animals Acts [Animal Legislation].”