PETA Goes After NYC Carriages

Animal-rights activist calls the trade 'disgusting'
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 3:33 PM CDT
Horse-pulled carriages roll through New York's Central Park in a 1997 file photo. The horse-drawn carriages that clip clop around Central Park could be banned under City Council legislation.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Animal-rights activists have long been champing at the bit to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and a PETA publicity strongman is in town to do just that, New York magazine reports. Though Michael Bloomberg and others in City Hall support the trade, PETA's Dan Mathews—legendary for his anti-fur tactics—has been crusading to ramp up attention since a Queens councilman proposed a ban in December.

Mathews has taken his message to the front lines, lambasting carriage drivers in Central Park for their "disgusting” trade and deriding the animals' “shackles.” He's also recruiting celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Cheryl Hines along the way. In recent years, spooked horses have caused a handful of traffic accidents, the magazine notes, and stable conditions are reportedly cramped. The carriage business supports some 450 jobs.