Animal Control Officers removed 14 horses from Arabber stables in West Baltimore after an inspection found poor living conditions, city officials said.
Animal Control and health officials on Tuesday took the horses from the stables on South Carlton Street, said city health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen. The animals were taken to Days End Horse Farm in Woodbine where she said they are receiving veterinary care.
Wen said animal control officers had made previous attempts to inspect the facility but were denied access.
Among the issues inspectors found Tuesday, she said, was urine in the stable floors, cobwebs which pose presenting a fire risk, and other concerns "we thought would harm the health of these animals."
This is the not first clash between the city, which has sought to increase oversight, and the Arabber community, which has argued some regulations are excessive and could threaten the Baltimore tradition. Shortly after the Civil War, vendors began selling fresh food from the back of the horse-drawn wagons.
"We certainly respect the tradition. This is something we have been working with the Arabbers for a number of years," Wen said. "Our mission is to protect the health and safety of our animal residents, just like our human residents."
No charges have been filed but health officials and the state's attorney's office continue to investigate.