Horse-drawn carriages to end in Chicago next year under new City Council decision

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Horse-drawn carriages will soon be a thing of the past in Chicago.

The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance Friday that effectively ends horse-drawn carriages in the city after Dec. 31.

Once horse-drawn carriage licenses expire at the end of this year, they will not be renewed. There are currently 10 licenses in the city.

Animal rights activists praised the decision, claiming it's cruel to have horses working in a busy city environment.

"This is a banner day for overworked horses in Chicago, who will no longer be forced to pound the pavement through extreme heat, thunderstorms, or blizzards and who are often deprived of even a drink of water, as the Chicago Alliance for Animals has documented for over three years," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement in response to the decision.

Larry Ortega, owner of Chicago Horse and Carriage, has dismissed the animal cruelty argument.

"Even though there are city, state and federal laws clearly stating what is animal cruelty, there has never been one horse driver or owner arrested operating on the city streets of Chicago,'' Ortega previously said.

With the vote, Chicago joins cities such as Salt Lake City and Camden, New Jersey, that have banned horse-drawn carriages.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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