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Letters & Editorials

Horse-Drawn Carriage Issue Draws Response

The Post and Courier August 8, 2006

Far too hot
Regarding the July 28 article in The Post and Courier, "Turning up the heat": I am shocked to read that Charleston allows its carriage horses to work in temperatures as high as 98 degrees. Even in New York City, horses stop working when the temperature reaches 90. In Rome, Italy, the horses do not work in the hot afternoons. Horses do not do well in heat, and Charleston can be very hot in the summer and very humid.

The number of 180 - a combination of temperature and humidity -suggested as the number at which to stop tours is at the extreme end of this formula [and obviously designed to squeeze as much work out of the horse as possible.] A horse cools itself [himself] by sweating. The efficiency of cooling decreases between 130 and 150. If the combination number is greater than that, a horse's ability to cool itself [himself] is greatly reduced. On a Web site for Charleston, it indicated that at 2 p.m. the temperature was 93 degrees and the humidity was 65 percent, totaling 158. That is far too hot for a horse to work.

On a website for Charleston, it indicated that at 2PM, the temperature was 93; humidity 65; heat index - 114. It totals 158 - but is far, far too hot to work a horse. [This industry is inherently cruel and more regulations can not change that.] For 10 hours, these horses are expected to work, wearing blinders and heavy tack. Between the shafts of their carriages, they are not able to do horse things, such as back up to something and scratch. Is that humane? As a prospective tourist to Charleston, I most certainly will not visit your town as long as you have this industry and will tell everyone I know to do the same. There are many other tourist towns in the South, particularly in Florida, that have banned this trade.

Elizabeth Forel
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
New York, N.Y.

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