Legislation would Protect N.Y. Carriage Horse Industry

Legislation would Protect N.Y. Carriage Horse Industry

New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow introduced legislation preventing any municipality in New York from limiting or eliminating permits issued to horse-drawn carriage service operators.

Photo: Photos.com

New York's horse drawn carriage industry would be protected from elimination under a new bill introduced into that state's legislature last week.

In May 2013, Allie Feldman, executive director of the nonprofit New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) called for a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages on grounds that the carriages were inhumane. At that time, Feldman said 16 members of the New York city council would support a NYCLASS ordinance that would replace horse-drawn cabs with electric vintage-replica cars. In January, newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said he would back any legislation that would ban the operation of horse-drawn carriages in the city. But any legislation to eliminate or limit the horse and carriage industry in New York City is remains pending, Feldman said.

In the meantime, on April 23, New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, chairman of the New York State Assembly's Committee on Racing and Wagering, introduced legislation preventing any municipality in New York from limiting or eliminating permits issued to horse-drawn carriage service operators.

According to New York Assembly Bill No. 9385, “notwithstanding any local law or ordinance to the contrary, any municipality that currently permits or regulates the operation of the horse-drawn cab industry with its territory shall continue such permission into perpetuity.”

The bill further states that “no municipality that issues horse-drawn cab licenses may revoke any such licenses except on conditions established before the bill's effective date, and such municipalities shall continue to issue such licenses into perpetuity, in an amount greater or equal to the number of licenses issued or the number of licenses permitted to be issued the year previous to the effective date of this section.”

Another of Pretlow's bills would exempt “owners of horses which pull any vehicle carriage, sled, or sleigh in a city with a population of 1 million or more from the provisions of torturing an animal.”

Feldman was unavailable to comment on Pretlow's bills.

Stephen Malone, spokesperson, Horse and Carriage Association of New York, was pleased with the legislation.

“I feel great about both bills,” he said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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