Co-sponsor of carriage horse ban may change vote - New York News

Co-sponsor of carriage horse ban may change vote

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

With spring, the outlook for horse-drawn carriages has warmed as well. One of the original co-sponsors of the City Council bill that would replace horse-drawn carriages with antique electric cars in New York City has begun to reexamine his position.

Councilman Peter Koo, a Democrat from Flushing. Queens, says he co-sponsored the bill because he thought horses should be treated humanely. But then he started reading many arguments from the other side.

Koo says he learned that horses are treated better now after animal rights activists protested. As a successful businessman, Koo concluded that electric cars would probably not attract tourists who come for the horse ride not a car ride.

Then the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, representing million-plus workers, publicly supported the 300 carriage drivers.

A Quinnipiac polls indicates that 2 out of 3 New Yorkers want to keep the horse-drawn carriages. Drivers say they are bombarded with public support.

But on Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has yet to visit a horse stable, reiterated his opposition and said he still has the votes for a ban. He said many council members say "it's the right thing to do."

Koo says the City Council ban on the horse carriage industry will come to a vote during the summer. It only needs a majority, 26 votes, to pass since de Blasio is certain to sign it. What is not certain is whether there are 26 votes for the ban.

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