Chicago Bans Horse-Drawn Carriages Beginning in 2021

The city joins Montreal, Salt Lake City and others in banning the practice

Chicago has become the latest city to ban horse-drawn carriages. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
Chicago has become the latest city to ban horse-drawn carriages. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / April 27, 2020 9:56 am

After a city council vote on Friday (April 24), Chicago has become the latest city to ban horse-drawn carriages. As the New York Times reports, the ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Once the new ordinance takes effect, horse-drawn carriage operators in the city will be unable to renew their licenses, and the city will stop issuing new licenses. Chicago joins Montreal; Salt Lake City; Biloxi, Miss.; Camden, N.J.; Key West; Palm Beach; Pompano Beach and Treasure Island, Fla. in banning the mode of transportation, which critics and animal rights groups claim in antiquated and inhumane.

“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,” Kitty Block, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement.

Chicago’s ban comes a month after a carriage horse in New York’s Central Park collapsed and had to be euthanized, and PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said she hopes Chicago can lead the way for other cities to ban the practice as well. “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.

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