Monday, February 09, 2009
Back to REALITY..........
The New York Post reports:
DRIVE TO REPLACE HORSES WITH MODEL T'S
By ADAM NICHOLS
Last updated: 3:11 amFebruary 9, 2009 Posted: 3:11 amFebruary 9, 2009
After 82 years, the Model T is set to replace the horse - again.
A city lawmaker wants to phase out controversial buggy-pulling horses and replace them with eco-friendly electric replicas of vintage Model T Fords.
The proposal - which has been pitched by animal-rights activists for months - has been taken up by Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who is hoping to put it before the City Council this spring.
"We have been exploring the idea that would essentially create a substitute for the horses," said a source close to Garodnick.
Michael McGraw, a representative of the animal-rights group PETA who has spoken to Garodnick about the proposed bill, said the plan is to develop electric or hybrid cars, which would tour the same park course that horse-drawn buggies use now - and could even be driven by current carriage operators.
"It would be the cutting edge of eco-tourism," he said.
Emotions are running high about horse-drawn carriages after a public hearing last month into a bill to ban them, introduced by Councilman Tony Avella.
The Queens Democrat claims the buggies amount to animal abuse.
"I support the car plan, but we still have to institute the ban and then say to the carriage operators, this is what we want to replace it with," said Avella last week.
"I think the intention is to get the carriage drivers to operate the cars, which would cause the least disruption and take care of the job issue."
Carolyn Daly, a spokeswoman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, said Garodnick had promised to speak to the operators' union, Teamsters Local 553.
"The proposal is absolutely absurd," she said.
"These are men and women who have dedicated their lives to horses, who love working with horses, and [Garodnick] thinks they can change to drive electric cars?"
During a Central Park rally yesterday, the carriage operators and their supporters continued to say "neigh" to the proposal banning the carriages.
Additional reporting by Erik Shilling