On Monday, New York's City Council introduced legislation that would ban the horse carriage industry, bringing throngs of supporters and opponents to the steps of City Hall.
A vote is expected in June 2015, after hearings are held and an environmental study of the proposal is conducted. If the legislation passes, current drivers will get three options: They can receive job retraining, apply for green taxi medallions, or drive electric vehicles that would replace the carriages, DNAinfo reports. "No one is going to be left out," Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS and a supporter of the ban, said. "Everyone can come to the table, find alternative employment, and move on."
Animal activists say having the horses in the big city is cruel, while opponents say owners take good care of their horses and can rely on steady work. "This industry [is] an iconic part of New York City," Councilman Costa Constantinides said. "This is not an animal rights issue. This is a worker's issue."