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Friday, January 3, 2014

New Mayor Vows To Outlaw A Central Park Tradition

A horse-drawn carriage is seen near Central Park January 2, 2014 in New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he would like the city council to outlaw the horse-drawn carriages and have them replaced by electric antique cars. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

A horse-drawn carriage is seen near Central Park January 2, 2014 in New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he would like the city council to outlaw the horse-drawn carriages and have them replaced by electric antique cars. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

The horse drawn carriages are a staple in New York’s Central Park and an almost mandatory destination for the hoards of tourists that visit the city each year.

They have been around for more than 150 years–ever since Central Park first opened in 1858.

But this year, New York’s new mayor Bill DeBlasio is vowing to do away with Central Park’s horse drawn carriages.

He says that the practice is cruel and essentially amounts to animal abuse.

DeBlasio says doing away with this NY tradition will be one of the first changes he makes in office.

Steve Malone, a horse and carriage driver and the spokesperson for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, disagrees with the mayor. He says his industry is “legitimate and thriving,” and treats its horses well.

“A bill was passed in 2010 that increased stall size, increased vet care, gave vacations to horses, and our facilities would match up against the police department and anybody else in this city,” Malone told Here & Now’Meghna Chakrabarti. “I haven’t done anything wrong. I operate a legitimate business that’s licensed by the City of New York. I’ve never been summoned for anything in regards to faulty business practices or any inhumane treatment.”

Guest

  • Steve Malone, spokesperson for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, and a horse and carriage driver Central Park

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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