The welfare of carriage horses in St. Louis is being immediately protected by the decisive and informed actions taken this week by the St. Louis City Health Director and her staff. Pursuant to the St. Louis City Charter and the City of St. Louis Revised Code, the Health Department has the authority to regulate animal housing and to protect the welfare of all animals in the city. This includes the authority to set minimum standards for housing, to ensure that no unfit animal is allowed to work, and to ensure that animals are not overloaded or overworked.
On Sunday, July 13, 2014 the City of St. Louis Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Frei, DVM, completed a carriage horse assessment report. The report identifies numerous conditions and findings that must be addressed. The full report which includes her summary findings and recommendations is attached. The carriage companies will be formally notified, in writing, of mandatory corrective actions and timeframes that they must implement specific to the well-being of their animals.
The Department is also requiring that, effective immediately, all horses not be worked when the maximum heat index reaches 100 degrees on any single day.
In reference to Moose the horse that brought these conditions to light, the City Health Director, Pamela Rice Walker, is requiring that Brookdale Farms provide her with Moose's full medical history and that he undergo a complete respiratory diagnostic work-up and is found to be healthy and unremarkable prior to his return to the city for use as a carriage horse. He must have Bronchoalveolar Lavage performed to rule-in or rule-out Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) and quantify the severity of the condition, if present, as a variety of management techniques and therapies may be indicated at that time. This work-up must be performed in collaboration with the City of St. Louis Public Health Veterinarian.
Department of Health
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