Puerto Rico mayor bans horse-drawn carriages in San Juan

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2015 10:23 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital has banned horse-drawn carriages in San Juan following allegations of animal abuse.

The executive order went into effect Monday and comes a few days after people posted pictures on social media of a horse that collapsed in Old San Juan.

"We have been receiving complaints for years from tourists and people who live in Old San Juan," the order stated.

The carriages were popular with tourists, especially cruise ship passengers who disembarked in the historic old city. A family-run business owned the horses and operated several carriages.

Cinthia Ortiz, a New York tourist who was exploring Old San Juan with her husband on Tuesday, praised the ban.

"It's 2015, and horses should not be used in that manner," she said. "There are other ways to show tourists the beauty of Old San Juan."

The Associated Press contacted a woman who said she is the owner of the horse that recently collapsed, but she declined to provide her name or to talk, saying she was meeting with an attorney.

Gabriel Peraza, a street vendor whose business is located next to where the horses were kept, said the animals were treated well.

"Veterinarians would come examine them often," he said. "They were given a lot of water and food."