Just south of the Bahamas, our dry season is 6 months long normally. With the drought affecting the caribbean this year, all the pasture space is DUST now. Bahamas will have a shorter dry season because they aren't in a rain shadow like central Haiti, but they still would be pretty dry and have little grass now in the pastures.
To feed 3 small and 1 medium ponies plus 3 St croix sheep, I'm paying the equivalent of 1 1/2 full-time salaries to find, cut, and transport canal grass and a little crop stover plus supplemental bran. I tried importing feed but it got wet in transit and the whole load molded before reaching us. Corn is through the roof.
Non- working animals put out to pasture are starving to death here, it is not a workable solution on many caribbean islands for climate reasons.
The horse that died Nov 07, 2012 died of natural causes at the age of 22
Kim Aranha, head of the SPCA has been trying to improve and remove the horses from this work, for years. She is very concerned that the horses are not properly licensed, in addition to lack of husbandry skills.
She has held the position since 2006 and is also a real estate agent on the island.
They produce Christmas Cards to sell for donations for the over 150 dogs they also are looking after. They have sponsored a spay=neuter clinic as euthanization is not effective.
the Polo Foundation used to make donations until a group continued to protest the "violence" of Polo.
Wedding planner, Sheila McCrea of Western Canada just returned and stated the horses used for the carriages for her clients were in excellent shape. She is a horsewoman so does take a notice and interest.
She did confirm that there are food issues in children, seniors and animals...horses, dogs, cats etc.
Outlawing carriages will only increase poverty. This is a nation that now must import its food as the "colonial" farmers were sent packing and now the locals have neither the knowledge or interest in farming.
The horses, according to the planner, are thin by North American standards but not by Central, South American or Carribean standards.
It was never confirmed that the horse died of natural causes - the horse was actually racing the night before even though the owner and driver were told that the horse had a heart condition - Of course it could be put down to natural causes if she died of a heart attack - but that could have been due to the racing the night before - Bloody Mary as she was known was extremely underweight which could have contributed to her heart condition.
On a lighter note there is progress being made - albeit slow but being made nonetheless - the laws about licences are being enforced more rigorously and reports are being followed up
As for outlawing carriages causing more poverty - there are alternatives that can be used - horses are not necessary they can be replace with pedicabs or even 'on foot' tours - horses are expensive to keep and so it would take all that expense away