[image-1]Members of Charleston City Council could see proposals to reform horse carriage safety rules later this month as activists and tour operators float their own changes after an incident led to the death of one carriage horse in July.

A proposal from the Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates (CCHA) would require operators to follow a new set of minimum safety standards and driver requirements.

The suggestions in the proposal include basic driver history checks for carriage drivers, independent safety inspections of carriages, independent veterinarians and various safety devices for carriages.

“This ordinance addresses major safety issues that are omitted in the current law,” the group wrote in a press release. “Our proposed safety ordinance details the bare minimum of what residents should expect of an industry that operates on public rights of way.”

City spokesman Jack O’Toole told the City Paper that tourism director Dan Riccio will take additional safety measures to Charleston City Council for approval later this month. “The city appreciates everyone’s input throughout this process, and will continue to work to ensure that horses are safe and well cared for,” he said.

The industry-backed Charleston Carriage Association for Responsible Equine Safety (CARES) proposed its own reforms this week as well. The suggestions require horses to be tied to physical barriers with additional safety ties.

Discussion about the proposals come two weeks after a horse ran free through Ansonborough while still attached to a carriage on July 19. The horse broke away from two handlers at a downtown barn and was later euthanized after sustaining injuries to its legs during the incident. City officials said the carriage company did not violate any city code.

City Council will meet this month on Aug. 11 and Aug. 25.


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