ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. David Paterson is taking on the two-century old tradition of horse-drawn carriage rides in Manhattan's Central Park, saying the horses need to be treated better or the popular tourist rides should be banned.
His comment drew a top "purr" in the "Purrs & Grrs" column of "Animal Times," the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals magazine. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office gave it more of a growl, saying reforms in the works for more than a year could soon address long-standing concerns about the familiar attraction.
Marissa Shorenstein, a Paterson spokeswoman, says the horses have often suffered under difficult work and stable conditions. She notes that although the carriages are important to tourism and the "fabric of New York City's culture," horses must be treated well.