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Committee Refuses to Consider Scientific Study on Horse Carriage Industry
12/15/2016 12:29:20 PM

Charleston Animal Society’s request for a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study of the Charleston carriage industry using a science-based approach -- was shot down by the committee tasked with making the industry more humane. “I can tell you right now we would never allow our animals to be part of a study with an animal rights group,” said Broderick Christoff who represents the carriage industry on the Carriage Animal Temperature and Heat Index Committee. 

“Hearing this should set off alarm bells for anyone who truly cares about the welfare of horses,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. “It raises the question, what are these carriage companies hiding and why are they afraid of an independent study?”  One reason could be that these researchers would not rely on the data that is provided by horse carriage companies to the city; information such as a horse’s internal temperature after tours. Researchers would collect their own data and then make decisions based on scientific standards used at universities and research facilities around the world.

Using information based on data provided by the carriage industry, the Carriage Animal Temperature and Heat Index Committee voted today 5 – 1 (with one member absent) to move forward with a plan to lower the temperature where carriage horses will be pulled from the streets. 4 of the 5 members who voted for the change have direct ties to the carriage industry or the city (both of which profit from carriage tours). The city would not allow independent veterinarians to participate on the committee. In one effort to protect the industry from any lower temperature change, the city’s hired veterinarian suggested that carriage operators be allowed to offer tours in the evening hours in downtown neighborhoods to make up for any lost revenue.

Data used to come to the “95°/110°” decision came from the carriage industry that was then analyzed by veterinarians employed by the city and the carriage industry. Throughout the meeting, representatives from the city and the carriage industry both use the word ‘arbitrary,’ when it came to the temperature decision they were supporting. “This is why we need an independent study backed by experts from a university or scientific organization,” Elmore said. “Charleston Animal Society is in touch with experts who are excited about doing this study that will have impacts for not only Charleston but the entire country.”


Current Temperature Ordinance

New Proposed Temperature Ordinance

Horses are pulled after two consecutive readings made 15 minutes apart that reach:

98° or 125° heat index

(Horses returned after two consecutive readings below 98°)

Horses are pulled after four consecutive readings made 15 minutes apart that reach:

95° or 110° heat index

(Horses returned after two consecutive readings below 95°)


The city committee was formed after Charleston Animal Society publicly raised concerns about the humane working conditions of carriage animals in Charleston. “While lowering the temperature to pull animals is definitely a step in the right direction, this decision does not go far enough,” said Elmore. “We want to see a carriage industry that our state can be proud of, and the only way to do this, is with a scientific, peer-reviewed study that will use unbiased data.”

“The independent study could come back with different findings, we just don’t know,” Elmore said. “And it is irresponsible for the city and the industry to kick this can down the road based on ‘arbitrary’ feelings. Let’s get the facts. Let’s do the research. Let’s solve this issue once and for all.”

Charleston Animal Society has made a tremendous effort to navigate a humane middle ground on this industry that people have said time and again in polls they want to see banned. “We are not against the use of working animals, but we cannot support the conditions currently in place in Charleston because we do not believe they are humane. A study will help illuminate this once and for all,” Elmore said.

The temperature proposal still needs to be approved by the city’s Tourism Committee and City Council before it can be enforced. The three main issues a comprehensive study would research are:

·  Temperature

·  Load

·  Traffic Congestion


Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Victorena Minchew Submitted: 12/15/2016
Seriously? Why on earth would the carriage companies want to submit to a "study" by a group that has consistently insisted they want them banned? Charleston Animal Society cannot claim they are unbiased, they've aligned themselves with the #BanHorseCarriages radical animal "rights" activists and petitioned for the removal of the carriages...the city refused to allow independent veterinarians to participate, the study would not be conducted by equine experts who know and understand horses...and you wonder why they refused to lie down and put their heads on the chopping block for you?

Submitted By: DALLEN Submitted: 12/16/2016
"Independent studies" like the many, many videos and photos taken out of context and voiced over to tell the public what they think should be seen. NOPE keep any and all animal rights minded far and away, they don't know the word of have the honor of being "Unbiased".

Submitted By: Tom Doyle Submitted: 12/18/2016
A much higher percentage of animals are euthanized by the "no kill"Charleston Animal Society than have carriage horses used downtown overheated. The idea that any study agreeable to Joe Elmore would be fair is laughable. In fact this whole study is ridiculous. Want to hear some quotes from the city veternarian who conducted the temperature study? Speaking on the subject of lower the temperature, Dr. Sabrina Jacobs said "It's not based on scientific evidence" "It's all to do with how people feel" "The whole reason we moved it to 95 is public perception". Joe Elmore a one man sewer that spews venomous misinformation under the umbrella of the animal society. The city is corrupt, the carriage companies lie, pay no attention to the the facts listen only to me.Elmore is a wizard of his own Oz, desperate to maintain a curtain to obscure the truth. Don't let him. .

Submitted By: T. Duff Submitted: 12/21/2016
These comments sound like they are from individuals who profit from the horse carriage trade. It is in their best interest to keep the horses working no matter what conditions. It's all based on economics for them and not the decency to create better working conditions for these animals.

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