Cape Town - The Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) has issued a stern warning that all horses must be off the road.
The alert, issued on Tuesday, came after temperatures in Cape Town soared to 35°C since the start of the new year.
Megan White, spokesperson for the CHPA, said: “We have got a WhatsApp group with cart horse owners and we asked them to please not work with them because it is too hot,” she said.
White said that since the warning had been issued, the association’s four inspectors had been inundated with complaints of horse sightings.
“It was chaos, we probably had over 50 complaints of people phoning in and letting us know where the horses were and we would get our inspectors out there,” she said.
Most of the complaints came from Edgemead, Bothasig and Goodwood.
“We do rely on members of the public to phone (and) we network with neighbourhood watches.
“We try to get the owners to understand that it is very hot for the horses to work. We try to educate the owners. We go out and ask them to return home,” White said.
Nazeem Anthony, who breeds and farms with horses in Sandvlei, near Macassar, said: “A guy that wants to make use of his horse in this weather, it doesn't make sense. It is their livelihood but if the horse falls down in the street they would have no income.”
He said the warning should also be directed to horse owners from poverty-stricken communities.
“The warning will be good for them and the horse, but then again some of them don’t have water in some areas for the animals, forcing them to go out.”
White said the CPHA fought to ensure that horses and their owners in Cape Town got the necessary support.
“The association offers absolutely every service that the cart horse owners need to keep their horses healthy, so there is no excuse for neglect or abuse,” she said.
Horse sightings can be reported to 082 656 6599 or 076 543 7949 and pictures can be sent via WhatsApp along with the location of the horse.