PETA protests Central Park horse-drawn carriages

PETA protests Central Park horse-drawn carriages

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Chanting the mayor's name in appreciation, some 50 demonstrators protested horse-drawn carriages in the city on Thursday. The protest was organized by PETA and NYCLASS after a horse fell on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street Wednesday. The protestors said the horse was spooked by a bus and cited witness accounts who shot some video.

The horse that fell is 15-year-old Spartacus. After a night's rest and a few carrots, he seemed fine Thursday. His owner showed us a veterinarian's report indicating Spartacus was OK.

A carriage driver who witnessed the accident insisted there was no bus and the horse never got spooked. She says a second horse was left untied, began walking, and the wheels of two carriages got jammed. Then Spartacus and his carriage got tipped over. And the tourist picture of the injured horse?

Carriage driver Christina Hansen said the horse stayed lying down until he was safely unharnesses and was then OK.

A newspaper reported that the city and drivers were talking about exchanging the $200,000 carriage license for a $1 million taxi medallion if the drivers give up the horses. The city would not comment directly, but the drivers' union says it's not true.

With activists and celebrities on one side and union leaders and drivers on the other this fight over horse and carriages in New York is far from over.

The City Council must vote on a bill banning horse-drawn carriages, but it has not come up for a vote since several City Council members have noted 400 jobs could be lost with a horse carriage ban.

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