A Ban On Horse-Drawn Carriages
By: Bryce, Andy, Sidney
A Ban on Horse-Drawn Buggies?
New York City debates whether to outlaw horse-drawn carriages
By Jennifer Eolin
Each year, millions of tourists flock to Central Park in New York City. The park, located in the center of Manhattan, is famous in part for its horse-drawn carriage rides. Visitors have been riding in these buggies since 1863. But a proposed city law could ban the carriage rides for good in the park after more than 150 years.
HORSES IN THE CITY
New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, wants the New York City Council to pass an ordinance (a piece of legislation or a law) that would outlaw all horse-drawn carriages from Central Park by the middle of 2016.
Eliminating the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park is causing quite a debate in the city. Animal-rights activists, such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), have supported a ban on the carriages for many years. A main reason that they believe the horses are treated cruelly is that the animals must sometimes pull carriages in extreme weather conditions while in heavy traffic.
Many people also think living in a big city is not safe or healthy for horses. In the past 30 years, three horses have been killed in traffic accidents in New York City.
“Horses don’t belong in the middle of the busiest city in the world,” Mayor de Blasio says.
However, banning the horse-drawn carriages could hurt the people who drive them. By eliminating the carriage rides in Central Park, hundreds of people would lose their jobs and the park would lose the income generated by carriage fees. Some even think this could negatively affect New York City’seconomy (management of wealth and resources).
Others argue that the ordinance would be the end of a long-standing tradition that many New Yorkers—and tourists—hold dear.
THE LAST CARRIAGE RIDES?
Mayor de Blasio has promised that if the ban on carriages is passed by the city council, the city will help the unemployed carriage drivers. De Blasio has pledged to provide them with training to become taxi drivers and to waive the high fees charged for taxi permits.
But according to Demos Demopoulos, this isn’t a good compromise. He is the executive director of a union(an organized group of workers) that represents the carriage drivers. He says that many carriage drivers don’t want to drive a taxi. They prefer the lifestyle of driving a horse-drawn carriage.
“These are all horse people,” Demopoulos has told news website Politico. “This is what they do.”
- The animals are treated cruelly and must work in extreme weather or traffic conditions.
- Big cities are not safe or healthy for horses.
- In the past 30 years, three horses have been killed.
A horse carrying citizens around Central Park
Horse getting a small break after carrying citizens around all day
A horse being jammed in traffic while carrying citizens around NYC