By Nathan Duke
City Councilman Tony Avella (Dâˆ’Bayside) will hold a public hearing in late November to discuss banning the operation of horse drawn carriages in the city. A number of the industry’s members, who have criticized Avella’s proposal, live in Bayside.
Avella has an impending City Council proposal to ban horse and carriage service in Manhattan. The councilman has contended that horses are overworked in the industry.
“The time has come to ban the operation of horse drawn cabs within the city of New York,” Avella said. “Society as a whole has come to realize that the mistreatment of animals is clearly wrong and should not be tolerated. It is time for this industry to be put out to pasture.”
But Baysideâˆ’based industry members had accused the councilman of siding with animal rights activists in his current bid for mayor. They said the horses are wellâˆ’maintained and that a host of city agencies oversee their condition.
Avella’s hearing were scheduled to take place Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. before the Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee at City Hall in Manhattan.
Avella said he did not believe that oneâˆ’sixth of the industry resided in northeastern Queens.
“It’s an attempt by owners to put pressure on me,” he said. “But I don’t believe it. There’s no evidence to rectify it.”
A number of animal rights groups, including the Coalition to Ban Horseâˆ’Drawn Carriages and Manhattan’s Friends for Animals, have praised Avella for his initiative.