Cincinnati City Council could ban horse-drawn carriage rides

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:57 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:15 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Horse-drawn carriage rides in Cincinnati may be coming to an end.

Cincinnati City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on changes to an existing ordinance that would ban all for-hire animal-drawn carriages in city limits except for parades and weddings - and permits will now be required.

Permit-seekers would need to provide “a description of litter control measures that will be taken to prevent urine and manure from collecting on city property or streets and the plan for disposal of any animal urine or feces,” city records show.

They would also need to provide a certificate of fitness from a licensed veterinarian proving the animal is in good health and “fit for the parade, march, or procession.”

The changes, proposed by outgoing City Councilman Chris Seelbach, would take effect on Jan. 15, 2022.

Commercial operation of animal-drawn carriages on city streets made of asphalt and concrete is “inhumane,” especially on hot and humid days that can “push an animal beyond recommendations for safe and humane care,” according to proposed changes in the city’s existing ordinance.

It also says “the smell of horse manure can and has had an impact on small businesses” including restaurants, bars and theaters.

Changes in the ordinance highlight crashes involving the carriages that have led to injuries and “at least one hospitalization” within the last several years, city records show.

The crash requiring a hospitalization happened in August 2019 when a driver going the wrong way on a street in Over-the-Rhine hit a horse-drawn carriage. The driver fled the scene, police said at the time.

The carriage driver suffered a hand injury. The horse suffered cuts on its chest and legs.

A petition to ban the carriage rides in downtown Cincinnati drew thousands of signatures in 2015. Animal activists cited the “deplorable” living conditions of the horses, who at the time were being kept in a West End scrapyard.

My ordinance to ban commercial, for-profit horse drawn carriages in Cincinnati passed out of my committee. It goes for...

Posted by Chris Seelbach on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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