Photo via Lily Bart's Flickr

Carriage horses may be getting a permanent vacation thanks to New York State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. An announcement was sent out over the weekend that the two have introduced legislation calling for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City; they were out in Central Park over the weekend protesting the industry. The release explained:

The horse-drawn carriage ride in Central Park may be an iconic New York activity - one that has been romanticized in movies and in the minds of countless tourists over many decades—yet there is nothing romantic about the often brutal conditions that many carriage horses are forced to endure. After years of community outrage over this matter, the two lawmakers believe it is past time for Albany to put an end to an antiquated industry that has no place in modern-day New York.

Avella echoed the sentiments of many who have long been trying to get carriage horses banned, saying it's "long overdue. It is simply no longer appropriate or safe for a horse drawn carriage to operate in congested, and often perilous midtown traffic. Equally as important is that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of these animals. The conditions they live and work under are clearly wrong and should not be tolerated. Our streets are some of the most congested in the world, where motorists, cyclists and pedestrians must navigate around each other... Throwing horse-drawn carriages into this mix has made an already untenable situation that much more difficult."

The proposed bill calls for a ban, and for horses to be released from their service; it would take effect 180 days from the date it becomes law. But as NY1 notes, Avella proposed a similar bill back in 2007 that never got passed (and again in 2009).