An image from a video posted on social media.
By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE country’s surrey horse industry is again under fire after a short cell phone video surfaced over the weekend on social media showing an apparently injured horse lying on the street being attended to by several individuals in the downtown area.
While little is known about the incident, Ministry of Transport officials in the capital have announced plans to formally investigate the matter.
The incident prompted President of the Bahamas Humane Society Kim Aranha to renew calls for the surrey horse industry to be shut down on the grounds of its inhumane nature and treatment of horses.
Meanwhile Dr Maurice Isaacs, director of the Cabs (Hackney Carriages) Board, yesterday told The Tribune that his office was aware of the incident, receiving a “highlighted report” on the occurrence shortly after it transpired.
Dr Isaacs indicated that the horse fell over unexpectedly, was attended to, assisted to its feet and was able to walk away following the incident.
The Cabs (Hackney Carriages) Board is responsible for regulating the surrey industry.
In late 2012, after a surrey horse collapsed and died, Dr Isaacs told The Tribune that the current legislation regarding the sector is outdated and needs to be amended.
On Sunday Mrs Aranha, in an interview with The Tribune, said treatment of horses involved in this sector has long been an “enormous problem,” adding that despite the government’s best efforts horses are being forced to operate in “severe” conditions.
“I am almost embarrassed to being having this conversation because we have fought on this issue for so long to no avail,” said Mrs Aranha.
She continued: “Watching the short clip is disheartening because you see the police directing traffic and telling the person not to record, where is that attitude when these horses are being made to carry overloaded carriages and run tours despite being exhausted?
“This breaks my heart because these animals are being subjected to this treatment and when we come out to aid in this, our comments and concerns are being pushed to the side and overlooked.”
Mrs Aranha urged the government to “do the humane thing” and bring an end to this practice, adding that the existence of the surrey horse industry is neither a cultural nor a driving economic force.