Council Takes No Action on Horse Carriages

Sep 26, 2013

The Salt Lake City Council will not ban horse-drawn carriage rides downtown. Nor do they have plans to tighten restrictions on the business any time soon. Last month, when a horse named Jerry collapsed downtown and later died, animal rights groups and some Salt Lake City residents urged the council to limit the use of carriages. Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke brought an ordinance proposal to the council Tuesday night that would have created a strict route for carriages and put a cap on the number of hours horses could work among other regulations. 

“What I was trying to do is take as much emotion out of this very emotionally charged situation and come up with some common sense regulations that have the potential of not only increasing safety for everybody downtown but also improving the environments of work horses and everybody else," Luke says.

But after several informal votes, the council decided instead to send the issue to the administration and county animal services for additional analysis before bringing a proposal back to the council for action.

Councilman Soren Simonson says that could take weeks, months or even years, but he says he doesn’t believe the issue is urgent. 

“The one request that I made, and I think other council members did as well is that we probably ought to involve not only our current provider but other potential providers or maybe people that have more expertise," Simonson says. "And maybe fine tune it based on expertise that we may not have as a council.”

Councilman Charlie Luke noted the results of Jerry’s death are inconclusive, but it’s likely the horse died of natural causes.