Editorial for 24 April: Neglecting horses wrong

“He who is cruel to
animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a
man by his treatment of animals.” – Immanuel Kant

That statement holds true
for every mistreated animal in the Cayman Islands.

While the Caymanian
Compass has written many articles and editorials about the cruelty done to dogs
in the Cayman Islands, we have rarely touched on the subject of neglected and
abused horses.

But those of us who have
lived here for any amount of time have seen horses posted on roadsides, often
without shade, food or water.

Several years ago, we
recall seeing a horse posted in the same spot for days until someone finally
put a sign near the horse warning the owner to take care of the animal or it
would be taken. The horse disappeared.

Neglected horses can be
old or young, sick or healthy, purebred or grade and are mistreated for many
reasons. The horse may have been injured, have gotten too old, become sick,
become a burden or simply too expensive to house and feed.

The Cayman Islands
Equestrian Federation works with the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture
to rescue neglected and abused horses, rehabilitate them and get them to good
homes. It’s a noble effort, but more needs to be done.

Specifically the grounds
where the rescued horses are housed aren’t a safe place for the horses. The
enclosures are on rocky ground. That was OK when they were used for cows, but
horses can’t move about on rocky ground and there is no shade for them.

Volunteers from Mourant
Ozannes and members of the equine federation will have a work day at the horse
shelter on Saturday to clean out the stones, build fencing and put down sand or
sawdust so the horses can lie down. It would be nice to live in a country where
humans don’t neglect or abuse horses, but unfortunately the incidents may be on
the increase as the cost to feed and house the animals increases.

If you know of a horse being
abused or neglected, please let the Agriculture Department know. We are known
by how we treat our animals.

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