NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has said he would ban horse-drawn carriages in the city once he's sworn into office, but that plan may need to wait as the city council must first take up the debate.
Animal rights activists have long criticized the leisure mode of transportation around Central Park saying the horses live an inhumane existence and are not treated properly.
Good Day NY spoke with supporter Christina Hanson of the Horse and Drawn Carriage Association of New York City; and opponent Scott Levenson of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets.
"He (mayor-elect Bill de Blasio) originally said he was going to ban it on his first day. That’s the city council’s purview. There will be hearings. The City Council has overwhelming voted not to ban us," said Hanson.
"We have the commitment of 39 city council members (to have the horse drawn carriages banned,)" said Levenson.
According to Hanson, no driver has ever been cited for cruelty, abuse or neglect to the horses which have been around NYC for 155 years.
There are approximately 200 operators, 68 carriages and 210 horses in New York City.
"'These animals are not being abused. This is a matter of opinion... it’s the radical animal rights movement (behind the opposition)," said Hanson.
Opponents say the horses would be better off in good, private homes or horse retirement homes.
"If you suddenly dump horses (into society) you’re going to have a problem," said Hanson citing a homeless horse problem in the country.
One of the alternatives to the horse-drawn carriage that is being promoted by New Yorkers for Safe, Livable and Clean Streets is the electric car that resembles an old fashion buggy.