The lengthy political discussion about whether or not to allow carriage horses to continue to operate in New York City's Central Park has finally come to an end. According to the Associated Press, a deal was announced Sunday by New York City officials that will keep the horses operating, albeit in smaller numbers.
While specific details have not been hammered out, the deal allows for a stable to be built within Central Park to house approximately 75 horses, a significant reduction from the 180 currently licensed. The horses are currently housed in Manhattan's West Side, which animals rights' activists deemed unsafe for both the horses' health due to the city fumes and the lengthy commute to Central Park. The total number of licensed horses will be cut to 95; those not housed in Central Park will be furloughed outside the city.
The new stable will be built by Oct. 1, 2018, according to the deal. There is already a stable in Central Park that used to house the city's equine unit, though it is unclear whether that stable might be repurposed for the carriage horses. Also included in the deal is a nine-hour work limit for any one horse in a 24-hour period, as well as the capacity for carriage drivers to charge an extra $5 per ride after six in the evening or on certain holidays.
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