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Batteries Replacing Horses in the Carriage Industry

A growing number of cities around the world, and around the United States, have banned horse-drawn carriages out of concern for the health and welfare of the horses.
September 14, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Donna Beeler

Jake Blumgart reports on an idea that could change the way tourists and romantics get around cities in the United States.

Janet White, an animal rights activist and leader of the group Carriage Horse Freedom, "has an idea she thinks could help the tourism industry shift away from horse-powered buggy rides, a popular draw in the visitor-packed streets of Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhoods."

"White envisions elaborate carriages, looking as though they just appeared from the set of Beauty and the Beast, but powered purely by electricity," explains Blumgart.

By using batteries to power carriages, instead of horses, White hopes to get the best of both worlds: the appeal of a old-time romantic carriage ride, but without any animal suffering.

White is spreading the idea around the halls of power in Philadelphia, but cities around the world have already banned horse-drawn carriages altogether, including MontrealSalt Lake CityRomeBarcelona, and Guadalajara. New York City almost banned horse-drawn carriages during the de Blasio administration, but stopped short.

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Published on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in WHYY
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