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The Watch


Carriage Horse Ordinance

The City has an ordinance governing horse carriages but until 2007 had no ordinance governing the welfare of carriage horses. The Tourism Commission formed a committee in 2003 to help shape an ordinance. The ordinance was approved by Council but some members of the public felt that it did not offer sufficient protection for the animals. It allows horses and mules to be worked in temperatures up to 98 degrees, and up to 125 degrees in the NOAA-defined Heat Index. NOAA defines this level as dangerous for both humans and animals.

July 20, 2011

City Council, July 19
City to tighten regulations covering carriage horses
Mayor comments on necessity to join Carnival in law suit
Marc Knapp

The proposed amendments to the Cityís ordinance covering the care of carriage horses took over a year to shape. But as Council member White told Council last night, they were subject to considerable and lengthy debate by the Tourism Commission. An estimated 20 to 30 members of the horse carriage industry were present last night to show their opposition, though only a few spoke.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2009

Tourism Commission, September 10
Votes to form committee to improve Carriage Horse ordinance
Views of independent veterinarian stir action

Warwick Jones

For some of us attending last nightís Tourism Commission meeting, the issues raised by Dr. Amy Hayek were too familiar. Dr Hayek was retained by the City to study and report on the horses used by the horse carriage industry. Some of her comments were very critical and were similar to those made by members of the public during the 3 years that the Carriage Horse Ordinance was being shaped. And those of us that attended last nightís meeting and those of the sub committee that shaped the Ordinance, applauded Dr Hayek. Representatives of the Carriage Industry did not, and bristled with hostility. Commissioner Doyle, who is the son of Mr. Tom Doyle, the principal of a carriage company, voted against the Commissionís plan to form a committee of three veterinarians to study issues raised by Dr Hayek and to propose changes in the Ordinance.

Continue reading "Tourism Commission, September 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2009

City Council, July 21
Sanitation workers pursue a lost cause
Zoning, Carriage Horse ordinance, and more grant applications

Marc Knapp

It was the largest display of a lost cause we have seen on City Council. About 20 members of the public, mostly City workers employed in the sanitation department, spoke during Citizens Participation in support of organizing a union for the workers. They aired their grievances and concerns, and compared their efforts to those of the City hospital workers who struck about 40 years ago.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2007

High temperatures affect all
Carriage horses should be off the streets

Krista Robertson
541 Godfrey Park Place

I just received an alarming phone call from my husband regarding the maximum temperature allowed by law before the carriage horses must stop running. He was greatly distressed, since the temperatures this week are the highest of the summer thus far, reaching the upper 90s with an extreme humidity level. He told me the horses looked as if they were ready to fall over.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 05, 2007

Concern over horse carriage loads

I am a frequent visitor to Charleston and every time I see a carriage with 15 people being drawn by one horse I get so angry. I understand this is a money maker for the tourist industry, but can something be done about the number of people one horse is forced to pull. Many times the number of overweight people in one carriage is appalling. These poor animals have to work so hard to make money for human beings,surely it would not hurt to lighten their burden a little bit. At least 2 animals could be used for the larger carriages, couldn't they? Thank you.

B.J Clouse,
23 Watkins Circle
Taylors SC 29687,

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 06, 2007

Too many horse carriages on the Pensinsula?
Some carriage companies are breaching regulations
Warwick Jones

There are mixed feelings about horse-drawn carriages on the Peninsula. Some residents feel they add to the historic charm of the district and help the tourism industry. Others say they clog traffic, and horses are worked sometimes in inhumane conditions. In response to citizen concerns, some years ago the City introduced an ordinance to regulate the industry. Most folk thought the ordinance limited the number of horse-drawn vehicles on the streets to 20 at any time, and that to ensure compliance, mandated carriages to carry a City-supplied medallion each time they embarked on a tour. The facts are slightly different. The ordinance gives the carriage companies considerable latitude in where they can travel, and without medallions. And indeed it seems to us that the carriage companies frequently breach the law.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2007

City Council, April 10
Animal welfare ordinance faces no hurdles
Strange explanation of Foundation's investment with Al Parish
Marc Knapp

It's been more years than we can count in the making. And the Committee that was responsible for the Carriage Horse Welfare ordinance before Council yesterday was not the first to make an effort. Council was not inclined to dispute, or even discuss any issues relating to the ordinance. It was passed with only three Council members opposing because, in their view, the ordinance was not necessary.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 14, 2007

Carriage Horse Committee – February 14
Still defining temperature and humidity thresholds
Final draft of ordinance likely to draw strong criticism

Warwick Jones

Committee members hoped today to complete their task of shaping an ordinance governing carriage horses. It was not to be but completion is likely at the next meeting. Two months have elapsed since the last meeting of the Committee. A meeting in January was planned to allow two veterinarians, one of the public’s choosing and the other of the horse carriage operators’, to make presentations. Either because of reluctance or timing, there were no presentations.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 06, 2006

Carriage Horse Committee, December 6
Delays decision on ordinance
Issues still over load and temperature thresholds
Warwick Jones

The Committee today voted to accept the draft ordinance virtually as it was submitted. This was not to be seen as an endorsement of its contents, but rather to put something concrete before the two veterinarians who are to make presentations before the Committee in January. At the last meeting, a group of citizens who were concerned about some aspects of the draft ordinance, asked that a veterinarian of their choosing be allowed to make a presentation. Committee member Doyle, who represents the horse carriage trade, said that if this were allowed, he wanted the carriage trade to also choose a veterinarian to make a presentation. Both requests were approved by the Committee at the last meeting.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 08:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2006

Carriage Horse Committee November 15
Final ordinance likely by early next year
Public allowed to have another equine vet make a presentation
Warwick Jones

Committee member Tom Doyle was right. Progress in shaping the ordinance to protect carriage horses has been slow. We can't comment on the whole of the three years that the new ordinance has been in the making, but he is certainly right about the last few months. The draft ordinance placed before the Committee today was little different from that of some months ago.

Continue reading "Carriage Horse Committee November 15"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 30, 2006

Carriage Horse Committee
Calls in an expert
But still can't get answers
Warwick Jones

The Committee charged with shaping an ordinance for carriage horses called an expert witness to guide them. He endorsed a draft of the ordinance which we expect will change little as it now moves into its final form. But his endorsement was a surprise and hard to take seriously. It followed a presentation to the Committee today that raised a host of questions but gave few answers. The unanswered questions were very pertinent to the draft. And although he didn't say the thresholds referred to in the draft were wrong, such as the ambient temperature that horses should cease working, he didn't say they were right!

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2006

Carriage Horse Committee, September 13
A slow walk for carriage horse ordinance
Issues remain over workloads, temperature and humidity thresholds
Warwick Jones

There was little action stemming from yesterday's meeting of the Carriage Horse Committee. Mr. Tom Doyle, the representative of the Horse Carriage industry was absent. In consequence, the Committee decided not to vote on any anything substantive. It seemed that members also were reluctant to discuss important issues.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2006

An Ordinance to protect carriage horses
Plodding to completion with an empty load
Patricia Jones

I enjoyed watching the carriage rides because I love horses but watching the carriage rides throughout the days put a pit in my stomach. I started to feel bad for the horses because it was only one horse per carriage. I am an animal lover. The poor horses were pulling well over 20 (sic) people per carriage. It was well over 90 degrees. The horses were pouring sweat. It just turned me off on the whole "classic carriage ride." You can see more of Charleston by walking. 7/31/06 -Yahoo Travel Guide Review

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2006

Horse Carriage Committee Meeting August 2
Carriage Horse ordinance in final leg
Is it sufficiently stringent?
Warwick Jones

The City of Charleston has an ordinance that covers horse carriages. But it has none that covers carriage horses. The need for an ordinance was recognized some 13 years ago, and a committee was appointed by the City to help shape it. It has been slow progress, but after two years of deliberations, the Committee most recently appointed is close to completing its task. The final draft could be presented to Council within two months or so. It essentially will regulate the working and living conditions of the horses.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Tourism Commission - Carriage Horse Committee considering new regulations

Pat Jones who covers Tourism

The Carriage Horse Committee met on June 30 to discuss a number of issues. Highlights were visits to the city's carriage horse facilities and a general greement amongst committee members that stall size, the weight of horses and heat should be added to the issues dealt with in the new regulations. Also discussed, was the possibility of lowering the external temperature at which the horses' internal temperature must be checked from 95 degrees to 90 degrees. This is to ensure that horses do not suffer from heat exhaustion.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:03 PM