Animal-rights activists picket Liam Neeson's NYC home

The 61-year-old actor has publicly advocated for New York City's horse-drawn carriages.

By Kate Stanton

NEW YORK, April 20 (UPI) -- Animal-rights advocates took the debate over New York City's horse-drawn carriages to Liam Neeson's home on Saturday.

Protesters gathered in front of the 61-year-old actor's Manhattan apartment building bearing signs that read "Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!" Others dressed up in horse costumes.

“Liam Neeson has made the shameful choice to be the only celebrity voice on the side of the cruel, outdated horse carriages,” a PETA rep told the New York Daily News.

"Any New Yorker can see that this industry has been responsible for over a dozen accidents over the past few years alone."

Neeson has been a vocal opponent of Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric vintage-replica cars.

Neeson and members of the industry have argued that horse-drawn carriages are an important tourist draw and a part of New York City's history. They also say that horses are treated humanely.


"It has to be said -- the great white elephant in the room -- four prime locations on the West Side of New York that realtors must be salivating to get their hands on," Neeson told reporters during a stable tour last month.

Mayor de Blasio said last week that he expects City Council to propose legislation banning the carriages by the end of the year.

“A horse in the middle of the streets of Midtown doesn’t belong,” he said. “I think a humane society doesn’t do that to animals and we have an alternative where we’ll have an opportunity for tourists to have a similar experience but without horses being a part of it."

[NBC New York, CBS New York]

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