Liam Neeson slammed for support of NY carriage trade

Liam Neeson. Photo: Karen Seto/Wikipedia
Liam Neeson. Photo: Karen Seto/Wikipedia

An Irish animal rights group is unhappy with actor Liam Neeson’s support of the New York City tourist carriage trade.

Neeson has spoken publicly against plans by the city’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, to end the carriage trade. He undertook to take action should he be elected.

Supporters say the carriages are an iconic symbol of New York, while critics say it is dangerous and cruel to have horses plying busy inner city roads.

Ireland’s Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) believes the Hollywood actor should stay out of the debate.

“He may be able to act and string lines together, but when it comes to understanding the suffering horses endure in all weather extremes, often in suffocating traffic fumes in the carriage trade, sadly, Mr Neeson has been a flop,” ARAN spokesman John Carmody said.

“The Irish public is commending Mayor de Blasio in his progressive efforts to retire this outdated industry in favor of a New York City that can hold its head up high with streets that do not harbor horse abuse.”

ARAN said the list of accidents involving horse-drawn carriages grew annually, and called the trade outdated.

Horses, it said, were made to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long.

“These gentle animals suffer from respiratory ailments because they breathe in exhaust fumes, and they develop debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces,” ARAN said in a statement.

“In some cases, horses have even dropped dead from heatstroke after working in scorching summer heat and humidity.”

3 thoughts on “Liam Neeson slammed for support of NY carriage trade

  • March 12, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I am all for preventing cruelty on these horses but the Irish group have some neck saying anything. The worse cruelty cases I have seen against horses are in Ireland. A pony was beaten and run over by a quad a few weeks ago in Dublin so whoever the Irish group are they should fight for the horses in there own back yard !

    • March 13, 2014 at 4:54 am

      Louisa – what a stupid comment. People EVERYWHERE should speak about cruelty EVERYWHERE. And “this group” happens to do good work in “their own backyard”. I know the group even though I am in NYC. Soooooo STFU and actually do something worthwhile instead of making stupid comments on stuff you know nothing about.

  • March 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Horse carriages are as part of N.Y., as the Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, Central park and N.Y. pizza. Many films recorded them over the years because they ARE the essence of N.Y.– not only a huge tourist attraction & income for N.Y., but a reason many come to N.Y.C., myself included. It also is/has been the landmark event place for untold amounts of marriage proposals, proms, birthdays etc. for New York residents, like myself. You just don’t get rid of that because a politician makes a deal with some realtors to sell the horse stables and put up some hi-risers. Wake up.


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