Having lived in Charleston prior to moving here, I was very disturbed to read that there will soon be horse-drawn carriages in Horry County. To anyone who actually believes that these rides are romantic, please allow me to refute that concept.
The horse carriage industry is banned in many European cities because it is an inhumane, outdated practice. There are minimal or non-existent regulations concerning the working conditions, and I saw firsthand in Charleston that they are largely ignored. Every year, there are more accidents involving these carriage rides.
Horses are flight animals; they are extremely sensitive to loud noises and unexpected sounds. They often become spooked and run amok, resulting in people as well as horses being seriously hurt. These beautiful animals endure pain and suffering by pulling oversized loads, dodging traffic, and sustain leg and hoof problems from walking on the hot, hard pavement. They often suffer from respiratory problems from breathing exhaust fumes. We in Horry County should not ignore the public safety risks and well documented animal welfare concerns.
Piper Belanger, North Myrtle Beach
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