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St. Louis Health Director Pushes for Ban On Horse-Drawn Carriages

Maria Keena
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Photo courtesy of Brookdale Farms

Photo courtesy of Brookdale Farms

maria-keena Maria Keena
Maria Keena joined KMOX in October of 2007. Her duties include anchor...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - If the St. Louis Health Director has her way, horse drawn carriages in the City will be a thing of of the past.

Saturday night, Pam Walker found a horse named Moose in severe respiratory distress. When the owner, Brookdale Farms, was contacted, they made no effort to get veterinarian care for him.

Yesterday, Pam Walker ordered two veterinarians to give Moose a physical and what they found was not good. The horse is suffering from the human equivalent to COPD.

“I will get a written report from these two vets and I will share it with the Department of Agriculture, who does oversee husbandry, horses and farm animals for the state, and see what they say about it,” she says.

A normal horse respiratory rate is between six and 12. Moose’s was 80.

“I expected him to show up with a vet, which is what should happen, but he also kept saying that horses breathe differently and this horse always breathes like this, so now I question whether they really have the ability to diagnose their own horses,” Walker says.

Walker tells KMOX this is not the first time Brookdale Farms has had problems. Last year, a horse died at Tilles Park.

“There were similar conditions,” Walker says. “People were expressing alarm, they kept working it, it fell over dead from a heart attack and they said it was natural causes.”

Walker says at one point, the horse and carriage industry in Saint Louis was regulated by the Taxi Commission, up until nine months ago.

“The vet for the Taxi Commission conducted routine inspections of the horses in their barns,” Walker says. “They’ve been in some dispute with the Taxi Commission, and I didn’t really realize this until last night, but nobody’s been regulating them.”

That’s why Walker called independent vets to examine the horses. Besides Brookdale Farms, Walker also ordered an inspection on St. Louis Carriage.

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