Animal-welfare activists protested outside actor Liam Neeson’s New York City apartment over the weekend in response to his expressing support for the city’s horse-drawn-carriage business.
“It’s 2014, not 1914. It’s time for a change,” said Peter Wood, an animal-protection investigator. It’s cruel to subject horses to traffic, pollution, and possible accidents, the protesters say.
“Horses don’t belong in traffic, surrounded by buses. They don’t belong in the city; it’s outdated, it’s cruel,” Wood said. ”Life attached to a carriage with a poop bag attached to your rear end — that’s no life.”
Neeson wrote an op-ed last week pointing out that only four horses have died from motor-vehicle accidents in the last 30 years.
Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that he plans to act this year on his campaign promise to ban the carriages and replace them with electric, vintage-style cars.
Neeson said electric cars can’t replace the horse-drawn carriages, which he calls a “signature element of New York’s culture and history.”
A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 64 percent of New Yorkers support the carriages.