By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Bahamas Humane Society has issued an ultimatum to the government over long-standing concerns over the condition of surrey horses in New Providence.
President Kim Aranha warned that the animal rights organisation will withdraw from government committees unless significant improvements are made by December 15.
She said: “We have to withdraw from all these committees because everyone thinks we’re endorsing them. We go to the inspections, and when we fail a horse, invariably the next day the horse is out on the road anyway and nobody pays any attention to the law.
Mrs Aranha said: “These horses are never going to be properly treated if we have the stables that they live in, you can do anything you want right now, but the stables they go back to are totally inadequate and it does constitute cruelty.
She said: “Horses were not made for this kind of life.”
The BHS has suggested that the government establish a national stable, with facilities to oversee the health and care of surrey horses. Next, Mrs Aranha said the route will have to be adjusted, preferably away from heavy Bay Street traffic.
“The stables are very meagre and in very poor condition,” she said. “We’re told nobody can afford it, nobody can afford it because they’re not making enough money. At the same time, if they go on with these horses in this type of condition nobody’s going to want to take the surreys.
“I found minutes from a Humane Society meeting from 1968 and they were basically saying exactly what I’m saying now,” she said.
“It’s a real problem, but it’s a problem that I would like to see resolved in a friendly manner,” she continued. “People keep throwing ‘it’s cultural’ at me, but you know it used to be cultural to run around naked.
She added: “We’ve evolved and this needs to evolve too. Either have a modern approach to the surrey horse or we replace them.”