A horse carriage ordinance which got initial approval from city council last week that would require new restraints for horses isn’t proactive enough, according to some animal rights advocates.

“We have been advocating for an independent, scientific, forward-looking peer-reviewed study of the entire enterprise so the results from that can provide some unbiased data,” said Joe Elmore, president of the Charleston Animal Society. “The enterprise needs reform.”

The ordinance, which comes weeks after a a horse ran loose in Ansonborough, is similar to a proposal from the Charleston Carriage Association for Responsible Equine Safety (CARES). The group, made up of carriage businesses in the city, requested new barriers for tethering horses before and after tours.

Elmore said he is in favor of the city’s ordinance, but he believes more is needed.

The Animal Society threw their support behind a second ordinance, proposed by Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates, which calls for new safety measures beyond the barn. The group’s proposals would require smaller carriages, regular independent inspections of the vehicles and independent veterinarian visits for the horses twice a year.

Carriage Horse Advocates, in a statement to the City Paper, said their proposal is “common sense safety measures.”

“We’re talking about minimum standards,” Elmore added.

The city’s proposed ordinance will go in front of council next month for its second reading.

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