You could soon need a license to house a horse in Philadelphia

It may surprise you, but more than a few people keep horses within Philadelphia city limits.

City Council heard testimony on setting standards for how much space a horse should have.

The bill under consideration requires a minimum of a quarter acre to have a horse within the city limits. Owners would be charged a $100 per year license fee for each animal.

Brian Abernathy, president of the Animal Care and Control team of Philadelphia, says the goal is to address complaints about horses being kept in small spaces.

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“Generally speaking, when a horse is kept in a neighborhood, residents are concerned by foul smells, cleanliness and noise,” said Abernathy. “Unlike most major cities, the city has no law governing the keeping of horses on private property so residents have no ability to seek relief.”

Councilman Bill Greenlee says the quarter-acre requirement can be waived there if the owner can prove the horse is getting plenty of exercise.

“If anyone that is under a quarter acre is able to care for the horse, I don’t think there’s any problem getting approval from a veterinarian,” said Greenlee.

Failing to comply with the ordinance could trigger up to a $300 fine.

The bill now goes to the full council for approval. 

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