Horses left out­doors prompts con­cern

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

There is a sit­u­a­tion in CBRM in­volv­ing two race­horses which are left to spend all their time in what is ba­si­cally an open field sur­rounded by an elec­tri­cally wired fence. There are a few trees at the bot­tom of the field, but not enough to get shel­ter.

The horses have been there since the fall, en­dur­ing the Oc­to­ber flood with only a lean-to for shel­ter. Only one of the horses will go in. They are con­stantly en­dur­ing high winds, frigid tem­per­a­tures and freez­ing rain.

The au­thor­i­ties were no­ti­fied but the bot­tom line, I’ve been told, is this. The law states that horses don’t need a barn. They just need shel­ter from the el­e­ments that meets cer­tain re­quire­ments.

The horses’ food is on the out­side of the fence and they de­pend solely on the own­ers for food. They have been zapped more than once try­ing to get the hay. Most times their wa­ter is frozen in a bucket, forc­ing them to lick the ice on the ground.

There are only two an­i­mal in­spec­tors in Nova Sco­tia from what I un­der­stand. When I asked why so few the re­ply was there are not enough com­plaints to war­rant more staff.

What do we as hu­man be­ings con­sider to be abuse to our an­i­mal friends? Ap­par­ently in this case noth­ing will be done un­til the horses’ ribs are stick­ing out and they are on their last legs, if, in­deed, they don’t break a leg on the ice. So much for ex­er­cise that any nor­mal horse re­quires to stay healthy.

The agri­cul­tural min­is­ter should have the laws changed to help pro­tect an­i­mals from abuse. These an­i­mals have suf­fered enough. Can you imag­ine walk­ing around with snow on your back and ice on your tail? But as long as you look healthy you will be ig­nored.

It hurts me to watch this, which is only mi­nor to what these horses have to suf­fer. They need help.

Ed (Mario) Ho­gan New Water­ford

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