A ride through Central Park in a horse drawn carriage could be a thing of the past if activists get their wish in New York.

City councillor, Tony Avella, who plans to introduce the bill next Wednesday, claims the horses are exposed to unacceptable risks as they compete with Manhattan traffic:

“This situation is only getting worse – the animals are not being treated properly, and enough is enough. Horses are incompatible with traffic – especially midtown traffic,” said Tony Avella.

The introduction of this bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York has been strongly supported by a number of animal charities following an incident in September when a horse took fright at street musicians and bolted through Central Park to its death.

It was the second such incident in less than two years.

New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, expressed his displeasure of the bill, remarking that horse-drawn carriages were as important a tourist attraction as the Empire State Building:

“These are things that the tourists like and New Yorkers like and they define a city,” said Mr Bloomberg.

The Health Department of New York, who issue permits and registration for the horses, said the agency has convened a horse advisory board to address horse health and safety issues in the city.