By: Ardina Seward
The battle to save New York City’s city’s carriage horse industry has reached the state Capitol. NYS State Assemblyman, J. Gary Pretlow has introduced legislation that would countermand New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio’s vow to ban the iconic horse drawn carriages in New York City.
Pretlow, who is the State Assemblyman for the 89th district covering Yonkers and Mount Vernon, is also the State Legislature Chairperson of the State Racing and Wagering Committee.
On April 23,2014, Pretlow 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.”
Although the NYC City Council is yet to vote on the proposed ban, the topic has been hotly contested by various animal activist groups such as the Humane Society, PETA and NYCLASS.org which favors the horses’ replacement with electric cars.