A proposal in City Council would ban horse-drawn carriages in Chicago, ending a tourist industry that’s operated in the city for nearly 40 years.
Our story on the issue last week received a huge response from both supporters and opponents of the proposed ban. (Voice your own opinion in our poll, first published Aug. 27, below.)
Local animal rights activists claim the horses are mistreated and overworked beyond regulations set by the city, which forbid horse-drawn carriage companies from operating when temperatures exceed 90 degrees or go below 15 degrees. Horses also are not allowed to work more than six hours within a 24-hour period.
Some opponents of a ban argue these animals were bred to pull heavy loads, while owners of such companies say their horses are well fed and receive proper care and veterinary attention.
The proposed ordinance, which would prohibit Chicago’s three horse-drawn carriage companies from renewing their licenses, is currently sitting in City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection.
Joining us to provide a range of perspectives on the issue are 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez, a co-sponsor of the bill; Chicago Alliance for Animals campaign director Jodie Wiederkehr; Chicago Horse & Carriage owner Larry Ortega; and Sheryl King, former president of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois.
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