The Salt Lake City Council is again tackling the issue of horse-drawn carriages ("Salt Lake City mulls changing horse-carriage regulations," Tribune, Jan. 7). As someone who has owned and cared for horses at the Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary for nearly 20 years, I urge the council to ban this cruel practice.
Horses are prey animals and can "spook." This is a bad combination with an urban environment where loud noises are a routine occurrence.
This concern isn’t only hypothetical. We have already had eight traffic accidents involving horse-drawn carriages on the streets of Salt Lake City since 2009. Even when there aren’t traffic accidents, horses who are forced to pull carriages live a sad life. They live a nose-to-tailpipe existence day in and day out, exerting themselves even on our red air quality days. And we’ve all seen these poor horses working in Salt Lake City’s sweltering summers and frigid winters. It’s heartbreaking.
Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York City, reaffirmed his commitment to end that city’s horse carriages. Salt Lake City would do well to follow this example and embrace positive change instead of stubbornly clinging to an unnecessary, antiquated and inhumane practice.
Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.