New York City reaches deal to keep some horse carriages

NEW YORK — New York City officials announced Sunday that a deal has been reached to keep some horse-drawn carriages in Central Park and build a new in-park stable for the horses rather than ban them altogether.

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"We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York's horse carriage industry," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a joint statement with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Teamsters union, which represents the carriage drivers.

The horses currently live in private stables on Manhattan's West Side, and animal rights advocates have been fighting to get the carriages banned entirely, calling it inhumane to keep horses in loud, car-clogged Manhattan. The Democratic mayor also pledged when he was sworn in two years ago to end the popular carriage rides through the park. But that was met with public and political opposition.

City officials Sunday said the deal would eventually reduce the number of licensed horses from about 180 to 95 when a permanent home is built for them in Central Park by Oct. 1, 2018. The agreement also limits the operation of horse-drawn carriages, with the exception of travel to and from their existing stables to Central Park beginning June 1.



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