Chicago Bans Horse-Drawn Carriages Starting in 2021


The regular sounds of clip-clopping hooves pulling creaking carriages will likely be absent from the streets in Chicago beginning subsequent yr after the City Council on Friday voted to ban horse-drawn carriages.

Under the ordinance, which is efficient Jan. 1, 2021, operators will likely be unable to resume their licenses, and town will cease issuing new ones.

The horse-drawn carriage trade has been shrinking for years. The metropolis now has 10 carriage licenses that may expire on the finish of the yr, The Chicago Tribune reported. At one point, it had 60 licenses available, according to The Associated Press.

For years, animal rights activists have called the carriage-horse industry abusive and cruel but supporters have argued that the horses are treated humanely and the carriages are a romantic link to history, provide jobs and appeal to tourists.

Dr. Dennis French, a veterinarian, professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and vice president of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois, addressed the City Council on Friday to speak out against the ordinance. He said claims of mistreatment and insufficient care were unfounded.

“Representatives of the Horsemen’s Council have repeatedly inspected these horses, the harnesses that are used on them and the stables where they are kept, and we have found no causes for concern,” Dr. French said. “These horses are well cared for, healthy and they like to work.”

But Kitty Block, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, welcomed the city’s move as a step to help protect the horses.

“These animals suffer due to harsh working conditions, often experiencing chronic medical problems, including respiratory ailments and lameness, which are exacerbated by standing on hard surfaces for long periods and forced to pull overloaded carriages,” Ms. Block said in a statement.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA, said Friday was a banner day for the horses in Chicago, who will no longer pound the pavement through extreme heat, thunderstorms and blizzards.

“PETA and the Chicago Alliance for Animals have supported this progressive ban every step of the way, and we have high hopes that this kinder, carriage-free city will influence others to follow suit,” she said in a statement.

Footage of the mare’s collapse and news of her death spread on social media, prompting an outcry online and a protest attended by dozens the following day.

“We’re wholeheartedly committed to protecting the welfare of carriage horses and have the record to match,” a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said on Saturday.



Source link Nytimes.com

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