- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s New Year resolution is to ban the horse-drawn carriage from Central Park and city streets.

It’s inhumane, he said, to subject horses to dangerous city streets, NBC News reported.

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City,” Mr. de Blasio said, NBC New York reported. “They are not humane. … It’s over.”

Animal rights groups are cheering.

“We believe that the use of carriage horses in 21st century New York City is unnatural, unnecessary and an undeniable strain on the horses’ quality of life,” said Stacy Wolf, the senior vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group, to NBC News.

But those who make a living off their horse-drawn carriages aren’t so enamored with the plan and vow to fight the incoming mayor’s plans. A legal challenge could be part and parcel of that fight, opponents said.

“We look forward to having a long battle with [Mr. de Blasio],” said Stephen Malone, who’s operated a horse-drawn carriage for 26 years, to NBC News.

Horse-drawn carriage rides have been part of the city’s landscape since 1857, when Central Park first opened, NBC reported.

“It’s a part of New York history,” said Sid Kolo, a field manager for New York Central Park Tours, to NBC.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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