The Horse and Buggy has become a staple attraction for cruise tourists visiting Belize City. But training for the horse and buggy operators is also important - both in terms of the image of Belize's tourist product and for the humane treatment of the animals. Training has been ongoing, but it's a growing industry and new employees are coming in every day. That's why today the Belize Tourism Board organized a Horse and Buggy Training at the Samuel Haynes Institute in Belize City for 40 persons involved in the industry. Shola Babb explained that they are trying to improve standards:..

Shola Babb, Compliance Officer - BTB
"Today they are going over the general welfare and the care of the horse, what the police needs to look at when they are giving tickets, what the drivers should be doing while driving the cart or while carry off their tours."

Stefanie Lupp, City Resident
"The training is about the healthcare, the driving, how to fix horse shoes and how to keep a horse and how to feed a horse."

Shola Babb, Compliance Officer - BTB
"We have been getting some complaints or some worries about the horse situation. As the compliance officer I had to take this on and I thought it was a good time to now do a training so that my inspectors and traffic and tourism police are all on the same page."

Stefanie Lupp, City Resident
"Everybody will benefit; the operators, because they operate the horses very healthy, the horses will not die. If you don't treat a horse well the horse will die and the horses are not cheap - they will have to buy new horses. The next is the city because the tourists are sometimes very upset about the health situation of the horses and Belize; it's good for tourism. If you operate in a good way and then the tourist go home and they are happy and they spread a good word about Belize."

Tomorrow, the workshop will conclude with a veterinary inspection of horses.

In addition, traffic officers will be equipped with skills and knowledge on how to spot horses that are in distress, fatigued, injured, or overworked, as well as being able to identify carriages which surpass the weight restrictions outlined by the Horse and Buggy Regulations.

Channel 7