After it had announced a complete ban on horse rides in the city’s most famous park, New York City softens its stance on Central Park horse carriages. According to a recent report, Mayor Bill de Blasio has reached a deal with industry representatives this weeknd.
According to the agreement, the number of licensed horses would be reduced, while the municipality would have to pay for new stables in the park to prevent horses from venturing on the city’s dangerous streets.
Yet, the news was met with a dose of criticism. Animal rights groups sought a total ban to prevent horses from being distressed for commercial purposes.
The agreement, on the other hand, is not final. As both sides are still negotiating the terms, details should be released later this month. Mr. de Blasio’s office said that, nevertheless, the deal was an ‘agreement in concept.’
The agreement was unveiled on day 747 of NYC mayor’s tenure. During the mayoral campaign, de Blasio pledged that he would ban horse rides for good from day one in office. So, the recent deal came as a surprise to many.
Speaker for NYC council Melissa Mark-Viverito said that all parties were pleased to have been able to reach a common ground in the negotiations. Mark-Viverito added that the city’s council and horse carriage industry were working together to pass the new legislation.
Yet, one major stakeholder missed the negotiations– animal rights advocates that had pushed for the ban. Animals activists argued that because of horse stable’ locations, the animals are put at risk during their trip to the park and back. But stable owners believe that the groups are just after their real-estate.
The new agreement should solve the problem as new stables would be built within the park from taxpayer money. The city pledged that the stables would be ready and functional by Oct. 1, 2018.
Additionally, the new legislation would bar horses from streets unless they travel back and forth the existing stables as of June 1. At that date, temporary stables would be set in the park, too.
Furthermore, the number of horses used to draw carriages would be trimmed from 180 to 110 by the end of the year. In 2018, the number would sink even lower, to 95, the municipality announced. About 75 horses are slated to live in the park when permanent stables are built.
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