Panel seeks update of a-rab regulations

Continuing education on horse rules proposed

meeting set for today

October 23, 2002|By Elizabeth A. Shack | Elizabeth A. Shack,SUN STAFF

The colorful horse-drawn carts and calls of a-rabs selling fruits and vegetables on the city's streets have long been a Baltimore tradition. Attendant to that tradition, though, has been concern during the past several years over the treatment of the horses that pull those wagons.

Today, a committee set up to review the city's regulations on horses will announce the results of an examination of those rules and hear public input on proposed changes. The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Clarence H. Du Burns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave. A final rules proposal could be ready for review by city officials in a month, said Robert Anderson, director of the Bureau of Animal Control.

The committee's proposals include establishing continuing education for a-rabs and setting up a permanent committee to meet every year or two to review the regulations, said Chairman Thomas Overton.

Some of the rules have not been changed since the 1940s or 1950s, he said. The 12-page document is the committee's attempt to simplify the old regulations.

"It wound up longer, but we were trying to consolidate it somewhat," said committee member Beverly Raymond of the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

In the 1990s, health officials suggested that some a-rabs were not taking proper care of their horses. A-rabs accused the city of trying to drive them out of business.

The proposed regulations were developed with input from horse experts and city officials. Committee members include representatives of horse-drawn carriage operators and a-rabs.

The committee proposed continuing education for the a-rabs in part because many vendors are unfamiliar with current regulations.

Horse owners who do not comply with regulations could lose their licenses, Raymond said.

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