New York City Ban on Carriages Will Be Proposed

The horse-drawn carriages that clip-clop around Central Park in New York City could be banned under City Council legislation to be introduced at the urging of animal advocates who say the horses are treated inhumanely.

Councilman Tony Avella, who planned to introduce the bill on Wednesday, said the horses were exposed to cruel conditions and were in danger in city traffic. In September, a horse died after it was spooked by street musicians and bolted down Central Park South.

"The animals are not being treated properly, and enough is enough," said Mr. Avella, a Democrat from Queens. "Horses are incompatible with traffic, especially Midtown traffic."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said last week that the horses should remain. "These are things that the tourists like and New Yorkers like, and they define a city," he said.

The Horse and Carriage Association of New York issued a scathing response to the proposal, defending the horses' care and saying that Avella "is the one who should be put out to pasture."

"No one is more invested in the health, safety, and welfare of our horses than we are," the association said.

A spokeswoman for the city health department, which issues permits and registrations for the horses and stables, declined to comment on the proposal, but said the agency had convened an advisory board to address horse health and safety issues. It met for the first time last week.

Avella plans to announce his legislation today with the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and other animal rights advocates, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the television actress Jo Anne Worley.

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The Associated Press

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