NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Actor Liam Neeson took on City Hall on Sunday, and showed his support for controversial horse drawn carriages.
Neeson toured the Clinton park Stables on West 52nd Street, yesterday Mayor Bill De Blasio declined an invitation from the actor to take part in the tour.
“I respect Liam Neeson a lot. I’m a big fan of his work, but the fact is I put forward a plan and a vision and the people ratified it in the election and that’s what matters most,” the mayor said.
On Sunday, NYCLASS released the following statement regarding the use of horse drawn carriages in New York:
“The issue is about the inhumanity of horses working in dangerous midtown traffic. Horses are easily spooked, and forcing them to work in loud, congested Lincoln Tunnel traffic is cruel and unsafe, as we’ve seen with so many accidents — horses getting hit by cars, collapsing, even dying on city streets. Why continue to subject horses to a risky nose-to-tailpipe existence when there’s a gorgeous, cruelty-free alternative, the electric antique replica Horseless Carriage?
We are exploring options to determine the smoothest, most fair and equitable way to transition out the use of inhumane horse carriages, transition in the job-saving electric antique replica cars for current carriage drivers. The commitment of Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito is unwavering, and we look forward to working closely with them and other officials to get the horses off the streets in a way that is humane for all.”
Neeson has said that there is no truth to the claims that horses are being abused.
“This is an industry that’s been here since before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration,” Neeson said, “These horses are well cared for.”
Irish animal rights group ARAN slammed Neeson for his stance on the carriages.
“He may be able to act and string lines together, but when it comes to understanding the suffering horses endure in all weather extremes often in suffocating traffic fumes in the carriage trade, sadly Mr Neeson has been a flop,” spokesman John Carmody said.
Neeson also invited City Council members who are against horse drawn carriages to attend the tour.
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