Too hot to trot? A Texas city council to consider new rules for buggy horses

Too hot to trot? A Texas city council to consider new rules for buggy horses

Credit: KENS 5

Too hot to trot? A Texas city council to consider new rules for buggy horses

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by Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 8:42 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio city council will consider limiting the workload for horses pulling carriages in the sweltering summer heat as animal rights groups plan a protest outside City Hall.

Reagan, a downtown carriage horse, can normally work up to 10 hours a day. Under a proposed city ordinance, she would only be allowed to pull cart for eight.

On Wednesday, as temperatures soared to 102 degrees, horses like 7-year-old Reagan could be seen pulling their carts through Alamo Plaza.

"The carriage provides a great way to see the city," said Barbara White, manager of Yellow Rose.

Yellow Rose Carriage is just one of many carriages in downtown San Antonio. They've become an icon and a "must do" for tourists looking to learn about the Alamo City.

For some animal rights groups, however, pulling the carriages in the summertime heat should be considered animal cruelty. Friends of Animals said in a statement, "It's hell on earth for horses forced to pull carriages in the sizzling heat of San Antonio's traffic."

Councilman Cris Medina said city council will look at an ordinance on Thursday that offers added protections to the horses.

"Nobody wants to see any of theses animals perish in the heat," Medina said.

The last time the ordinance was reviewed was in 1995. New proposed changes mean shorter working hours.

In a June meeting, city council considered increasing the temperature horses could work in from 95 degrees to 96 degrees. They also considered reducing their break time from 10 to five minutes. But after more research, those two considerations were removed.

Yellow Rose said the new changes won't have a big impact on their business.

"We've been in business since 1982. We've never had a horse drop on the street," White said.

Friends of Animals and Primarily Primates plan to protest in front of City Hall on Thursday.

Friends of Animals said their future goal is to do away with the carriage horse industry altogether.

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