Council members say ‘nay’ to horses

Carriage horse opponents rallied outside City Hall.

Council members joined animal rights’ activists yesterday to call for an immediate end to the controversial carriage horse industry.

“It is no longer acceptable in 2011 to treat animals as we are here,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said.

The bill that’s currently before the City Council would phase out the carriage horse industry;  it proposes that visitors would instead tour the city in vintage-style, eco-friendly electric cars.

“People would love to have the opportunity to tool around in an energy-saving vehicle,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said.

But in the meantime, while the carriage horse issue is hotly debated, officials want to impose new restrictions on the treatment of the animals.

Horses should be restricted to within Central Park, for example, they said. Right now, they pull carriages down traffic-clogged city streets.

Also, stable owners should be required to have a horse trailer on hand in case the animal needs to be rushed to a vet.

Currently, stable employees use the NYPD’s trailers.

The call for a carriage horse ban increased after Charlie, a horse making his way toward Central Park, collapsed and died last month.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.



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