In his waning weeks in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio is making one last-ditch effort to ban New York City’s horse-drawn carriage industry, a promise he made when he first became mayor and a long controversial issue that has been the target of animal rights advocates.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has long sided with animal rights activists who say the Victorian-era mode of transport is anachronistic and more importantly, cruel to horses. Over the years, they have pointed to videos of horses collapsing in city streets as evidence of that.
In 2020, footage of a carriage horse collapsing in Central Park sparked outrage on social media. The horse, a 10-year-old mare, was later euthanized.
The latest recorded incident came in September, when a horse fell to the ground in a busy city street after running into a parked sedan. Later, the car was seen backing into the horse.
“The horse-carriages just don’t make sense. They’re inhumane,” de Blasio told reporters. “It’s the 21st century for god’s sake.”
Following a pledge that he would ban the practice on his first day as mayor, de Blasio has over the years tried to get legislation passed in the City Council, but has come up empty due to lack of necessary council support. The reasoning behind it? City Council members say NYC carriage horse owners and operators would face job losses and revenues, ignoring the planned replacement with e-carriages which would keep current owners and operators in business.
News of the mayor’s attempt to revive the issue was first reported by the New York Times.
Featured Image: Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Spectrum News (NY1)