More than 1,000 people from around the world have signed a petition calling on the Bahamian government to ‘stop the abuse’ of the country’s carriage horses.
The petition’s creator and local horse trainer, Paula Caruana said she doesn’t necessarily want to ban the surrey industry but simply have it better regulated by the government.
Ms Caruana’s internet-based petition was inspired by the recent public death of a surrey horse which outraged many and spurred calls for an investigation into the working conditions of the horses.
The 22-year-old female horse, named Bloody Mary, was drawing a yellow and blue surrey near the corner of Dowdeswell and Christie Streets on Tuesday afternoon when it collapsed.
Witnesses said tourists were in the carriage and following the horse’s collapse, the animal was tied to the back of a truck and dragged out of the street – reportedly at the insistence of the police.
Ms Caruana said she never expected her petition, which has gathered signatures from Vietnam to Poland, to get as big as it has.
Her petition asks the government to ‘stop this brutality’ and enforce stricter legislation, such as an Animal Rights Bill, to regulate the conditions of the industry and the health of the animals.
The petition also criticises the downtown Nassau route the carriages take.