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Horses' burdens worry Utah coalition

A number of Salt Lake laborers are forced to endure extreme cold, punishing heat and long hours pulling heavy loads, said David Berg at a recent City Council meeting. He urged the council to consider changing its regulation of those workers.

Berg, a member of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition, was talking about four-legged laborers — the horses who pull carriages around Temple Square every day and night. "In New York City, they restrict (horse-drawn carriages) . . . from working in temperatures above 95 degrees," Berg told the council. "In Salt Lake City the temperature can be 100, and they're still allowed to go out."

The council asked city policy analyst Laurie Dillon to gather more information about how carriage companies care for their animals and about their extreme-heat and -cold policies.

"I would think that the carriage owners would be concerned for their horses . . . but at the same time we should set some extreme limits," Councilman Carlton Christensen said at Thursday's work meeting.

"Animal services (does) a regular inspection once a year and if there are complaints, more," said Dillon. Stables and carriages are also checked, and as truck drivers are required to record their driving hours, "the carriage owners are required to keep logs and have those available" for checking.

Dillon said she would find answers to City Council's questions and present them as soon as she could.