Savannah votes to give carriage horses a break in high heat

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Horses pulling tourists through the streets of Savannah will get a bigger break on the hottest summer days.

The Savannah City Council has voted to update a local ordinance governing the health and safety of horses pulling tour carriages. The city said in a news release it's the first time the law has been changed in 40 years.

The new law halts all horse-drawn carriage tours in Savannah once the temperature hits 95 degrees. The cutoff used to be 98 degrees. Tour operators will also be required to monitor a horse's body temperature and respiratory rate on days it's 85 degrees or hotter.

Bridget Lidy is Savannah's tourism director. She says City Hall worked for two years with tour companies, veterinarians and animal advocates to draft the changes.