New York City may restrict horse-drawn carriages to Central Park following deal

If the agreement is approved, the number of licensed horses in the city will decrease from 180 to 110 by the end of the year.
By Marilyn Malara  |  Updated Jan. 18, 2016 at 3:41 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- New York City's horse-drawn carriages will be stripped from the streets and limited to Central Park, a proposed compromise between mayor Bill de Blasio and a union of carriage drivers says.

As per the deal struck Sunday night, carriages and their horses will be restricted to the 842 acres of the public park instead of routes intertwining with and alongside the city's busy roads.

Said to still be in its early stages of detailed negotiation, the agreement comes about two years after de Blasio, then a candidate for mayor, vowed to swiftly ban horse-drawn carriages from the city if elected, citing animal-rights concerns.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York's horse carriage industry," a statement signed by de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and union leaders including carriage driver Stephen Malone said.

"There's a deal in principle made. We'll continue to negotiate the details of it," Malone, who is helping lead negotiations, later told the Wall Street Journal.

If passed by the City Council, the deal will also cut down the number of working horses in the city from 180 to 110 by December, ultimately decreasing the number to 95 as it progresses. Enforcement of the agreement will begin June 1.

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