CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — Three Charleston carriage tour companies have formed a new association to advocate for the well-being of carriage animals.
Palmetto Carriage Works, Old South Carriage Company, and Charleston Carriage works make up the Charleston Carriage Association for Responsible Equine Safety.
The group plans to host events to educate the public about how they take care of the animals.
They also plan to come up with a new set of standards for caring for the animals that exceed the current ones set by the city.
“The three member companies of this organization intend to set the gold standard for the treatment of carriage horses in the United States,” said Charleston C.A.R.E.S. President Tommy Doyle, General Manager of Palmetto Carriage Works in a press release Monday. “Not only will we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards to ensure the safety and wellness of our horses, we intend to be fully transparent about our practices. The community deserves to know how well our horses are treated and we intend to show them.”
The formation of Charleston C.A.R.E.S. comes after criticism from groups regarding the treatment of the carriage animals.
In response to the group’s launch, Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said, in part, “We support anything that will improve the conditions for working horses in Charleston. As we have asked for from the start is enforcement of all aspects of the current ordinance meant to protect the welfare of carriage horses. The new guidelines that CARES is promoting sound promising, but we are concerned that CARES will only give a new name to the same organizations that will maintain the same policies that continue to ignore that law that we and other animal organizations helped to create over a decade ago. It remains our belief that Charleston still has the harshest working conditions for horses in the nation.”