SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah)- There’s still no resolution in the Salt Lake carriage horse city code proposal. You’ll remember back in August when “Jerry the Horse” collapsed on a downtown street and later died. Animal rights groups claim horses are being treated inhumanely and the city should ban the practice. But the carriage company owner says Jerry died because of a common disease and not abuse.
Tuesday's city council work session ended just like the last one: no decision from the city council on how or if they will change the city’s ordinance on carriage horses. Tuesday, ABC 4 Utah learned a possible resolution.
A routine Salt Lake City Council work session took up the topic of what’s becoming a routine discussion. Should the city ban horse carriage rides? To decide, the city council gathered the ordinances from other cities who have them as well. If you ask PETA Spokesperson Jeremy Beckham, he would answer yes.
"I don't know how much longer this has to happen until we see change. I hope it wont take the death or the serious injury of a person. It's already unfortunately claimed the lives of horses," said Beckham.
Beckham and others protested after the collapse and death of Jerry the Horse on a downtown street in August. We spoke with Jerry's owner shortly after who says Jerry died of colic and not abuse. But many called on the city to rid the streets of those rides. Council Member Charlie Luke came up with a proposal that includes:
"Create an established designated route for horses. Create single use permits for other parts of downtown," said Luke.
Luke's potential city code amendments were debated and ultimately not agreed upon.
"We needed to move fairly quickly, this does create a delay. I personally would've liked to have seen a little bit faster track than this one we're on," said Luke.
And now everything still remains on the table: the full spectrum of no change at all, to slight adjustments, to a full ban.
"I think they need to have some kind of finality. I know that thousands of people in Salt Lake do want a ban on horse drawn carriages. There are serious concerns about horses who are used to pull carriages," said Beckham.
Beckham says Tuesday was not a defeat because at least the conversation is ongoing. Council member Luke says they heard from people across the state, the nation, and the world. Despite all the interest, the city council does not have a timeline for when they will address this issue again.
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