City Council votes to pull horse-drawn carriages off the streets of Chicago by year end
CHICAGO (Apr. 24, 2020) — Horse-drawn carriages in Chicago will be a thing of the past after City Council voted 46-4 Friday to ban them by the end of the year.
For years, animal rights activists and some aldermen have tried to ban horse-drawn carriages, citing traffic congestion downtown, multiple citations from the city and animal welfare concerns. The carriages are often stationed at Chicago Water Tower and other points around the city, and take tourists on rides around the Loop, Millennium Park, and Buckingham Fountain.
The ordinance passed by the Council Friday, which was first approved by the city’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection in March, will effectively pull carriages off the road by Jan. 1. Operators will not be able to renew their licenses, and the city will stop issuing new ones. The city’s 10 existing carriage licenses, each of which has a $500 annual fee, will expire at the end of the year.
Friday’s vote took place even though several groups made last-minute attempts to delay it.
The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois and the Cook Country Farm Bureau each asked aldermen not to vote on the issue and work instead to find a compromise.
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