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Salt Lake City Council to take public comment regarding horse carriages

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-20 19:42:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A couple of Salt Lake City Council members are looking into the issue of a carriage horse that collapsed in the downtown streets Saturday.

Comments from around the world have reached the office of the city council – some in support of horse-drawn carriage businesses and others demanding they were cruel and inhumane.

The horse, suffering from colic, was pulling a carriage for the business “Carriage for Hire” in 98 degrees, Saturday, when it collapsed.

Many of the complaints received by Councilman Charlie Luke honed in on how the city regulates what kind of weather horses can work in.

Right now, the ordinance states that horses cannot work if the temperatures reach 107 degrees with 57 percent humidity.

Luke conceded that seems extreme and said the council is reviewing exactly what happened that day and considering possible changes.

“I think everything is on the table and I think if we’re really going to do the job the right way everything needs to be on the table,” Luke said. “The status quo should be on the table, as well as an outright ban. I don`t know what exactly what is going to happen, I don`t know exactly where we`re going to fall, but it`s probably going to be somewhere in between there.”

The Humane Society of Utah is one organization criticizing the business.

“This incident demonstrates the continuing use of carriage horses on Salt Lake City streets puts both the animals and public at risk,” officials from the Humane Society released in a statement Monday.

Luke said he’s also received positive comments and added a ban on carriage rides would be too harsh and uncalled for.

The city council is taking public comment on the issue Tuesday night during its 7 p.m. meeting.