Chicago bans horse drawn carriages from 2021

Yvonne O'Halloran

On Friday April 24th, Chicago City Council voted 46 to 4 to pass a ban on horse-drawn carriages from operating in the city commencing January 1st 2021. The ordinance will prevent the city from issuing any new licences and will ban the operators from renewing their existing licences. Presently, there are only 10 remaining horse-drawn carriage licences in Chicago that will expire at the end of 2020.

Kitty Block, who is the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, welcomed the city’s move to protect and stop exploiting horses.“These animals suffer due to harsh working conditions, often experiencing chronic medical problems, including respiratory ailments and lameness, which are exacerbated by standing on hard surfaces for long periods and forced to pull overloaded carriages,” Ms. Block said in a statement.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA, said Friday was a banner day for the horses in Chicago, who will no longer pound the pavement through extreme heat, thunderstorms and blizzards.

“PETA and the Chicago Alliance for Animals have supported this progressive ban every step of the way, and we have high hopes that this kinder, carriage-free city will influence others to follow suit,” she said in a statement.

Though some cities like Salt Lake City and Camden have already banned horse drawn carriages, many other have not. New York City for example, still allows horse-drawn carriages to operate despite years of protesting and stories of horses collapsing and having to be euthanised hours later.

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