The City Council recently voted to ban horse-drawn carriages in Chicago beginning January 1, 2021.
Starting New Year’s Day, the City of Chicago will cease issuing new licenses for coach operators. Likewise, current licenses will not be renewed as a result of the City Council’s 46-4 vote Friday, April 24.
Before the outbreak, the horse-drawn carriages were commonly seen around the Chicago Water Tower and other city attractions with tourists, prom-grads, or newlyweds in tow.
Under the previous law, the regulations ordered that horses weren’t to work more than six hours a day, with a mandatory 15-minute resting period every hour. Operators were not to work their horses during rush hour, when the temperature exceeded 90 degrees, or when it fell below 15 degrees.
Citing the persistent neglect and maltreatment in defiance of the regulations, animal activists have long advocated for the discontinuation of horse carriages in the city.
One of the leaders of this forefront was Jodie Wiederkehr, who is the head of the Chicago Alliance for Animals.
“For two years, we have relayed information to aldermen and the mayor about how they (operators) overwork horses and violate laws intended to protect public safety,” she said. “These horse operators refuse to self-regulate. … The city doesn’t have time to babysit this trade.”
Chicago is the most recent city to ban horse-drawn carriages, following the likes of other US cities, including: Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Treasure Island, and Key West in Florida. Biloxi, Mississippi, Camden, New Jersey, and Salt Lake City, Utah have also banned the equestrian practice.
[Featured image source: shutterstock]