Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Philly's horse carriage rides remain while New York's de Blasio pursues ban

The old time-y carriages you see weaving through Old City have faced enormous amounts of criticism from commuters and animal rights activists alike. But, according to a report from CBS, it doesn't look like they're going away anytime soon.

Philly’s horse carriage rides remain while New York’s de Blasio pursues ban

Photo: visitphilly.com
Photo: visitphilly.com

The old time-y carriages you see weaving through Old City have faced enormous amounts of criticism from commuters and animal rights activists alike. But, according to a report from CBS, it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon.

Carriage ride bans have emerged as one of the first items on new New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s docket, with his administration already pursuing their removal. De Blasio is primarily concerned with carriage rides around Central Park, indicating that he’d prefer drivers use antique cars in place of the traditional horses. 

In Philly, though, the horses still have a home.

Speaking to CBS, Nutter Administration spokesman Mark McDonald said that Nutter and co. have “no plans to look at banning carriage horses in the city.” Citing the relatively small size of our carriage system, McDonald says that horses on the street just simply aren’t a concern.

“There are two companies that provide services on a fairly circumscribed route. By comparison to New York, this is a rather small system,” he said. 

The two companies to which McDonald refers are Philadelphia Carriage Company and 76 Carriage Co., essentially the only game in town as far as horse-drawn tours go. The latter came under fire late last year after a photo showing a horse that had slipped on the street made its rounds on social media, leading to moderate but sustained outcry at banning the carriages within city limits. 

But while that doesn’t seem likely, the Nutter Administration will be launching a look into the conditions and operations of the carriage tour companies in order to assuage public concern about potential animal abuse.

“The Administration is in the process of putting together a working group that will be looking at both the care of horses and the maintenance of horse stables,” McDonald told CBS.

So, for now, we’re going to keep our horses. Just like we kept our large sodas and e-cigarettes.


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