Chicago to ban horse-drawn carriages after hundreds of violations

Chicago to ban horse-drawn carriages after hundreds of violations

CHICAGO — Not a single ward boss voted “Nay” on a City Council proposal that bans horse-drawn carriage rides starting next year.

Animal rights activists and downtown aldermen have pushed to ban the popular and often traffic clogging, horse-drawn carriage rides downtown for years. On Friday, the City Council approved a measure that bans issuing new licenses and renewals for carriage companies beginning Jan. 1.

City laws prohibit carriage owners from working horses for more than six hours within a 24-hour period. Carriage companies are also not allowed to operate when temperatures are below 15 degrees or over 90 degrees, and during rush hour.

Alderman has said the city’s 10 licensed carriage companies have violated those rules hundreds of times. The carriage ban comes after carriage industry representatives declined requests to relocate rides from the Gold Coast to Grant Park, downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly told the Sun-Times.

A People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals spokesperson called the move an “a banner day for overworked horses in Chicago, who will no longer be forced to pound the pavement through extreme heat, thunderstorms, or blizzards and who are often deprived of even a drink of water.”