Animal Rights Group Seeks to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in NY

Citing accusations of animal cruelty, a New York group seeks to replace horse-drawn carriages with replica vintage cars powered by electricity. 2013-03-15 02:41 AM EST Last Updated: 2013-03-15 02:45 AM EST

It's not the first time in history that cars could be replacing horses.

At least that's the wish of animal advocacy group NYCLASS - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets.

They're proposing that a fleet of replica vintage, fully electric cars replace the city's horse-drawn carriages.

Spokesperson Allie Feldman says cars are a clean, economical, safe and humane alternative.

[Allie Feldman, Lead Organizer, NYClass]:

"It doesn't poop, it doesn't foam at the mouth, it doesn't urinate on city streets. It has tush warmers and climate control, so you don't have to use those nasty blankets which could give you bedbugs. And it's a much better value for tourists."

New York's horse-drawn carriages have been the subject of controversy and debate over the years, with accidents prompting accusations of animal abuse.

But carriage operator, Conor McHugh says NYClass is just another group trying to steal their business.

[Conor McHugh, Horse-drawn Carriage Operator]:

"Our horses have jobs. They have health care. They have dental care, which coincidentally they got this morning. They have farrier care. They have nice, comfortable homes to live in and they earn their keep. Just like me. Just like you."

Tourists we spoke to seem to be split in favor of cars …

[Erin, Australian Tourist]:

"Yeah, I think it's romantic and maybe not so clichéd as the horse and carriage, perhaps."

… or horses and carriages.

[John Sanders, Australian Tourist]:

"I don't think these car things will ever take off. I reckon the horses are here to stay to be quite honest."

Perhaps the only way to get an answer is straight from the horse's mouth.


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