You may have heard in the news that the Charleston Animal Society is pushing for a study of the Charleston carriage industry.
One thing is clear — the study currently being proposed by Charleston Animal Society (CAS) is not based on scientific fact at all. It’s about achieving a predetermined outcome long-desired by CAS — that is to end the carriage industry in Charleston. That is why we propose they do a study on their own horses. The outcome of a study conducted by the Charleston Animal Society would clearly be biased. That same bias is already written and evidenced in their public statements and activities.
Meanwhile, Palmetto Carriage Works and other tour operators have, for decades, actively partnered with City officials to set standards for carriage tour operation dealing with temperature, weight limits, etc. These standards are some of the most rigorous in the entire nation. And you know what? The standards work. Palmetto Carriage Works has kept meticulous records of the health and wellbeing of our animals to prove it. There already exists years worth of data clearly demonstrating that our horses are well-cared for. This data is open for any and all to review.
The animals at Palmetto Carriage Works have a work schedule that would make some humans envious. If they’re too hot, the teams are given a rest and water. If the temperature remains too hot, the horses and mules take the rest of the day off and enjoy some down time at the Big Red Barn downtown. Additionally, they receive at least six weeks of vacation on Palmetto’s Johns Island farm, six-hour work days, multiple breaks, room and board and good parking in downtown Charleston.
We’ll continue to work with Mayor Tecklenberg, Charleston City Council and the City Tourism Commission to ensure this iconic industry maintains its history of operating in accordance with the some of the nation’s highest standards.
With that said, there is no study or scenario in which the Charleston Animal Society and animal-rights activists will accept carriages as a positive business with healthy and happy horses that are well taken care of. They are not neutral actors but activists dedicated to ending horse-drawn carriages in Charleston.