Mayor-Elect Calls Horse-Drawn Carriages 'Inhumane' And 'Not Appropriate'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)It may be the last ride for horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

As CBS 2’s Sonia Moghe reported, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is pulling the reigns on the carriages but the drivers won’t let go without a fight.

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If the incoming mayor has his way, tourists and residents alike won’t get to ride a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park for much longer.

“At least I’ll be able to say I did it before it did end,” tourist Yorisa Singaphi from South Africa said.

“That’s the best thing we’ve done during our stay,” British tourist Leanne Spriggs added.

De Blasio on Monday reiterated his stance that it’s time for the carriages to go.

“They’re not humane, they’re not appropriate to the year 2014, it’s over,” de Blasio said. “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages, period.”

But some drivers said they disagree with that assessment.

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“They’re all checked by the health department, City Hall, ASPCA and lots of regulations,” a driver told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

De Blasio gave no timeline as to when the carriages would disappear.

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape,” he said Monday. “They’re not humane.”

Drivers like Colm McKever said they’ll be out of a job if the ban takes effect. McKever also worries about what will become of the horses.

“These animal rights people – their idea of having horses put out to pasture is not a realistic endeavor. The horses provide a function, they work for their living,” he told Moghe.

De Blasio hopes to replace the carriages with antique electric cars, which he said could provide jobs for current drivers.

But that proposal, too, has its critics. Some argue that more cars are the last thing the city needs, Moghe reported.

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