New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that although he had to push back the ban on horse-drawn carriages, he is still very committed to the cause and that it will be done sometime “this year.” De Blaiso initially wanted to ban the horses from Manhattan’s streets and Central Park during his first week in office.
“A horse in the middle of the streets of Midtown doesn’t belong,” do Blaiso said during an online Google Hangout video chat. “I think a humane society doesn’t do that to animals and we have an alternative where we’ll have an opportunity for tourists to have a similar experience but without horses being a part of it,” he added.
De Blaiso said that he knew in his “heart” that the ban was right, regardless that the polls show the majority of New Yorkers are opposed to it. “That is part of making change in the world,” he said.
Horse-drawn carriage operators and allies have loudly opposed the mayor’s plan, including actor Liam Neeson who toured the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street last month. “This is an industry that’s been here since before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration,” Neeson said. “These horses are well cared for.”
Carriage operators say that banning the horses will cost the city jobs and deprive New York of one of its iconic industries. De Blasio has proposed replacing the carriages with electric cars and argues that the change will help create more employment. “We’ll have an opportunity for jobs for folks,” he said.
De Blaiso said there already a bill is being drafted in City Council, and “we expect action on it this year.” So far, the council has not yet introduced the legislation.
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