• Charleston Animal Society is not opposed to working animals and has not called for a ban of the carriage industry.
• The carriage industry has been the focus of controversy for decades.
• In 2006, we participated on a committee that helped draft the current city ordinance regarding the humane treatment of horses.
• In 2015, we made a review of the industry and found that many parts of the city ordinance were not being followed. One example is that horse carriages are to be weighed before each trip (to make sure a horse is not pulling too much) and this is not being done.
• We were also concerned because the thermometer that takes the official temperature that decides when horses come off the street is four stories in the air (on top of the Doubletree Hotel). We believe it should be at ground-level, where the horses work.
• Cities across America require only one max heat reading to pull horses off the street, yet Charleston requires four max heat readings spaced 15 minutes apart to pull equines. We believe one reading is sufficient.
• For these reasons and more, we believe the current system allowing carriage tours is not humane and we called for an independent study to get answers on what would make the system safe and humane.
• The carriage industry said while they now back the idea of the study, they will not allow their animals to participate. But clearly, a study cannot be completed without studying the horses and mules that live and work here.
• Charleston Animal Society has reached out to industry leaders to meet about the study, but was turned down. We still remain hopeful that a meaningful dialogue can begin on making the study happen.
Thank you for taking the time to stay informed on this important issue. The bottom line is these working animals deserve our attention to ensure they work in a safe and humane environment. When you are sharing your opinion of the carriage industry, please do so with respect for all individuals, regardless of their position on the issue.