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NYC Council Vote On Horse-Drawn Carriage Ban Stalled

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says the council may not vote to outlaw horse-drawn carriages any time soon.

Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a promise to ban the carriage horses within a week of taking office.

But he said in April that a vote on the ban would be delayed until later this year.

Mark-Viverito said Wednesday that legislation on the carriage horses would possibly be delayed until next year.

She spoke after the head of the council's consumer affairs committee, Rafael Espinal, said he does not support banning the horses.

Horse-drawn carriage protest
(Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

In front of City Hall Wednesday, his opponents held signs saying "Espinal is on the wrong side of history," WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

Animal-welfare activists have long pressed to get rid of the carriage horses. They say Manhattan traffic is no place for a horse.

Backers of the industry say the animals are well cared for.

Any measure to ban the horse carriages would typically pass through Espinal's consumer affairs committee, Lamb reported. But City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who favors the ban, said the bill might take a different path.

"Once the bill is introduced we will discuss in terms of what committee it falls under," she said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a promise to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.

The mayor initially said he wanted to ban the horses from Manhattan's streets and Central Parkduring his first week in office. But during a Google Hangout video chat in April, the mayor said he expected the City Council to ban the practice by year's end.

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