Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Chicago Alderman Proposes Ban on Horse-Drawn Carriages

Under the legislation, the city would not renew any existing licenses, effectively ending the industry

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    A Chicago alderman is looking to end the horse-drawn carriage industry in Chicago.

    Citing safety, sanitation, and animal cruelty concerns, Ald. Edward Burke (14th) proposed at Wednesday's City Council meeting that officials "outlaw" horse-drawn carriage rides in Chicago.

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    “Carriage rides have outlived their usefulness in Chicago in 2014,” Burke said in a statement. “I would argue it is an unsafe and obsolete tradition that our city should simply ban.”

    Under the legislation, the city would not renew any existing licenses, effectively ending the industry.

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    In Chicago, horse-drawn carriage rides are restricted to operating in certain areas of the city and are banned from operating during rush hour. Horses must wear diapers and carriages cannot operate when the weather is too hot or too cold.

    “Despite all of these rules and regulations, the larger question still remains as to whether horse-drawn carriages should operate at all in Chicago, “ Burke said. “It is my goal, at a minimum, to begin that discussion.”

    Burke said his concerns were sparked after he was contacted by PETA and discovered Chicago’s “cement-topped congested streets are not the place for horse-drawn carriage rides if the city wants to ensure public safety and promote compassion toward animals.”

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that he supported the ban.

    In November, Emanuel proposed an ordinance that would update regulations and licensing processes for the industry.

    The proposed ordinance included amendments to regulations such as the temperatures at which horses can be out and increased the feed to obtain a license.