Lawmakers Call For Ban On Horse Carriages - NYCLASS

Lawmakers Call For Ban On Horse Carriages

In the wake of yesterday's runaway carriage horse incident in Columbus Circle, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are renewing calls to ban horse-drawn carriages.

17 August 2012
In the wake of yesterday's runaway carriage horse incident in Columbus Circle, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are renewing calls to ban horse-drawn carriages.

In the wake of yesterday's runaway carriage horse incident in Columbus Circle, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are renewing calls to ban horse-drawn carriages.

The two lawmakers co-sponsored a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, calling the industry inhumane and dangerous.

"Despite claiming to have taken every available precaution, the industry cannot ensure the basic safety of the horses or the public," Rosenthal said. "If an industry is incapable of preventing accidents, the State has a responsibility to step in. We have been lucky up to this point, but our luck is bound to run out."

Yesterday's incident was caused when a horse got spooked by a van and got loose from its carriage, sending two passengers falling into the streets. One passenger had a possible broken leg and another was cut on his heel.

This issue has fostered tension between Mayor Bloomberg and carriage opponents in the past. After a horse died near Eighth Ave in October 2011, Bloomberg said he had no plans to ban the carriages.

"Why anyone wants to destroy something that is part of New York's heritage and that tourists love, you should remind those people that the way we pay municipal employees is with taxpayers money," Bloomberg said in October.

Avella didn't buy the tourism argument, and said Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn should "put the lives of their constituents and these horses ahead of their misguided nostalgic feelings" and end the practice.

"Enough is enough," Avella said. "How many more accidents, injuries and deaths is it going to take before we end this inhumane industry? This latest accident serves as a prime example that horses are easily excited by everyday occurrences in city life. It is absolutely clear that the time has come to ban horse-drawn cabs in the city of New York."

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