City tourism committee approves new law for hitching, unhitching carriage horses
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Tourism Commission unanimously approved a new law that would require carriage horse owners to attach their horses to a town-permitted structure while hitching or unhitching them from carriages.
City spokesman Jack O'Toole confirmed the vote Wednesday night.
The proposed change followed an incident in July in which a carriage company’s draft horse was able to run from its barn while still attached to an empty carriage. A veterinarian determined the horse’s injuries were so severe that he needed to be euthanized.
City of Charleston Director of Livability and Tourism Dan Riccio said the city's investigation into the incident determined changing the law was in the best interest of the city and the horses.
Officials say the investigation showed, if the horse had been tied, this unnecessary loss would not have happened. But investigators said that since there was no requirement for handlers during the process, the city could not press charges in the incident.
The new protocol would change that, requiring horses to be tied to a permanent fixture, like a wall or a pole, during the entire hitching and unhitching process.
O’Toole said that after the commission approved the new law, it next goes before the full Charleston City Council next week.
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