If you were morally up in arms about the situation with New York City's horse-drawn carriages, we've got the latest on that development for you.

Naturally, animal rights advocates have been lobbying for the total ban of horse-drawn carriages in Manhattan, for the obvious reason that NYC is not the best environment for horses.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York's horse carriage industry," Mayor de Blasio said in a joint statement with the Teamsters union, which represents the carriage drivers, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

ABC reported that the horses currently live in private stables on the West Side.

When Mayor de Blasio was sworn into office, he pledged to end NYC's horse carriage industry. However, the agreement city officials and the Teamsters union came to the agreement that the city's number of licensed horses would be reduced from 180 to 95.

The carriages will also be forbidden from operating anywhere in the city but Central Park starting on June 1st, and the Teamsters union will be required to build a permanent home for the horses in Central Park by October 1st, 2018.


The working horses will be housed in a Central Park stable with room for 68 carriages and 75 horses. The horses not working must be on furlough (horse vacation) outside the city.

There are other ramifications to the new deal. A horse will no longer be allowed to work more than 9 hours in a 24-hour period. Carriages can now charge an extra $5 for trips after 6 p.m. between November 15th and January 5th, on Valentine's Day, or on Easter.

The news of the agreement wasn't good enough for animal rights activists.

"What right does Mayor Bill de Blasio have to take public land and build a stable for private use?" asked Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages. Forel said she remains opposed to any plan that doesn't ban the carriages altogether. 

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Still, one of animal rights activist's main complaint was that the horses lives were endangered in their daily walks to and from the urban stables where they now sleep.

There is a stable in Central Park already. It was once used by a city equine unit, and it's now used for storage. We don't yet have information about whether that stable can be repurposed. 

We also don't have information about whether City Council will provide compensation to the carriage drivers who will lose their jobs.

"Working out the logistics of this agreement will be key in reaching an outcome that is suitable to all parties involved," said Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Daniel Dromm in a statement on Sunday.

So, we're not completely stoked about exploiting horses for tourist gains. We're even less stoked that promising to end horse carriages in NYC altogether was yet another promise Mayor de Blasio couldn't manage to keep. 

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[via ABCNews] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]