NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly close to introducing a bill banning horse-drawn carriages in New York City.
Under the measure, licenses needed to operate the carriages would not be renewed, according to published reports. Those licenses are set to expire in 2016.
The ban would put 300 carriage drivers out of work, but the mayor would offer those drivers free green taxi medallions, 1010 WINS’ John Montone reported.
Under the proposed bill, horse carriages would be allowed for parades and movie productions, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Animal-welfare activists and others have long pressed to get rid of the carriage horses. They say Manhattan traffic is no place for a horse.
- “Horses don’t belong on New York City’s congested streets amid cars and pollution. There have been too many crashes and too many horse deaths and injuries to justify the continuation of this industry,” Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), said in a statement. “The legislation, being introduced at the next Stated Meeting of the New York City Council, will provide a valuable alternative for the drivers while at the same time ensuring the humane treatment of the horses.”
“Carriage horses were never meant to work in today’s urban terrain,” added Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS, an animal rights group that has been pushing to shutter the industry.
Backers of the industry say the animals are well cared for.