(PCM) It has been an ongoing debate in New York City over the famous Central Park carriage rides and the ethical treatment of the horse that are used for those excursions around Central Park. Recently, actor Liam Neeson jumped into the middle of the argument and wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times in support of the Central Park carriage industry.
In his feature for the Times, Neeson claims that he took a visit to the stables last week and noted that he saw no signs of animal abuse or mistreatment of the horses when he toured the stables. He also went on to point out that the carriage horse industry is overseen by at least five regulatory agencies.
Neeson’s visit to the stables was spawned by comments made by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio who says that the carriage horse industry is inhumane and has pledged his support to bring the Central Park carriage tours to an end. The horse-drawn carriage rides around Central Park are a city tradition that dates back about 150 years.
Animal rights activists completely support Mayor De Blasio and over the weekend expressed their outrage at Neeson’s feature in the Times. They dressed up in full-body horse costumes and held protest signs in front of Neeson’s New York City apartment. Some of the signs read “Worked to death” and “Horses +traffic=death”.
The issue could end up in front of city council for a vote, however in the meantime a recent poll shows that 64% of New Yorkers are in favor of keeping the tradition of the carriage horses in Central Park. Neeson has yet to publicly comment on the weekend’s protest.