*File photo
*File photo

The SPCA has welcomed moves to tighten up rules surrounding the operation of carriage horses in Hamilton.

The new set of regulations, called the Hamilton (Regulation of Carriages) Ordinance 2013 will come into effect on Saturday.

And they will give the Corporation the right to control which operators work within the city boundaries.

SPCA Inspector Glyn Roberts said the new Ordinance would help ensure the safety of the public and the welfare of the horses as the Corporation of Hamilton would be able to check licences and appropriate documents.

He added: “In the past, the SPCA have identified carriage operators who overload carriages, use horses which are too small and who swap license plates or do not have a valid licence and even have criminal convictions for animal cruelty.”

The Corporation of St George’s introduced a similar Ordinance in 2001. And the SPCA is now in talks with WEDCO to see if a similar set-up can be implemented in the West End.

SPCA inspector Roberts praised the Corporation of Hamilton for implementing the new rules.

He said: “The SPCA is the Organization that public and tourists most often contact when they have concerns for the welfare and operation of carriage horses in Bermuda.

“The SPCA worked closely with the Corporation of St Georges in formulating the Islands first Regulation of Carriages Ordinance in 2001 and was pleased to be able to work with the Corporation of Hamilton to bring about an Ordinance for Hamilton this year.

Inspections

“Due to the complexity of the licensing process there are many areas whereby issues can be overlooked.

“TCD license the carriage itself and issue the driving licence to the individual driver; however, the horses that are used to pull the carriages are inspected and certificated by a private veterinary surgeon.

“Furthermore, the Commercial stables which the horses work out of need to be inspected and licensed by a Government Department.”