City Council passes horse carriage, taxi ordinance

Law limits horses to 8-hour work day, bans horses from working in 95-degree weather

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio City Council on Thursday voted on an ordinance that would make changes to the horse carriage, taxi and limousine industries.

City Council members discussed the ordinance after hearing from dozens of concerned residents who had issues over some of the proposed changes.

As for the horse-drawn carriage industry, under the new ordinance, the horses will be given more breaks and will only be permitted to work an eight-hour work day.

The new regulations will also ban the horses from working at times of the day where it is hotter than 95 degrees.

Many horse-drawn carriage drivers said they believe the new regulations are a step in the right direction and that the changes will benefit the horses as well as the drivers.

"There are more changes and provisions that are in care of the horses than we've ever had before," said Kathy Stevens, with the Bluebonnet Carriage Company. "Now it is lined out. So there's no guessing to whether or not companies are doing what they should be doing."

However, some animal rights activists were not happy with Thursday's vote.

Edita Birnkrant, with New York's Friends of Animals, said the city of San Antonio needs to do away with the industry overall.

"In doing further research into the industry, we see that the only appropriate action for the city of San Antonio to take is to release these horses from these inhumane dangerous working conditions," said Birnkrant.

Also voted on Thursday are changes that will allow taxi cab drivers to charge customers up to a $200 cleaning fee. They will also be able to keep their cabs in service for up to eight years instead of five.

The new ordinance goes into effect on Aug. 15.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.


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