NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD has taken over enforcement of regulations for horse carriages, and a spokesman for the industry said he hopes they will go by the law and not by a plan to shut the industry down.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced the NYPD takeover of enforcement since the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has disbanded its enforcement operation, according to a New York Post report.
The NYPD will inspect horse stables, and has been trying to figure out how police will enforce rules banning the operation of the carriages in extreme weather, the paper reported.
Horse & Carriage Association Stephen Malone said he hoped the move was not the first step toward shutting down the industry – which he said the ASCPA wanted to do.
"The ASPCA had an agenda that was, they hoped to shut us down and put us out of business," Malone told 1010 WINS. "So I imagine that we'll be getting, the appropriate rules and regulations will be enforced to the letter of the law. The ASPCA had sent us home many days before it reached temperatures where we weren't allowed to operate."
Malone said the industry takes no issue with police regulation in general.
"We have no problem with the regulation, and as long as it's being enforced correctly, and that the NYPD has been versed in all of our rules and regulations, we have no issues with it at all," he said.
But Malone expressed concerns, given that Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken a stance that horse-drawn carriages should be done away with.
"I don't know if it'll help, because the Police Department works for de Blasio. I would like to think that they're going to go by the letter of the law, and not by the mayor's, you know, of course, taking action to put me out of business," Malone said. "The electric car isn't going to fly."
De Blasio hopes to replace the carriages with antique electric cars, which he said could provide jobs for current drivers.
"They're not humane, they're not appropriate to the year 2014, it's over," de Blasio said in late December, shortly before he took office. "We are going to get rid of the horse carriages, period."
De Blasio has given no timeline as to when the carriages would disappear.
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