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FIRST ON 3AW: Horse and carriage permits scrapped

Neil Mitchell

VIDEO: Mr Doyle justifies the move to an angry caller

The days of horse-drawn carriages in central Melbourne are numbered.

From June 30, the Melbourne City Council won’t be issuing permits.

It means the carriages will be confined to St Kilda Road and through the botanic gardens.

The decision comes after years of opposition from animal rights activists.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says Swanston Street is no place for horses.

“I think they’re dangerous,” Robert Doyle told Neil Mitchell. “I want to see horses cared for.”

“We had reports of them doing U-turns in front of trams, we’ve had a couple of incidents where one horse bolted if you recall, we were so lucky there wasn’t serious injury.

And he took a swipe at the operators, labeling some of them “cowboys”.

PETA has responded to Mr Doyle’s announcement:

“Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s decision to not permit horse drawn carriages to operate any longer on Swanston Street is a victory for anyone concerned with the welfare of animals. Horse-drawn carriages are not only cruel to the horses who are forced to work long hours, often in extreme weather conditions, while walking on hard pavement and inhaling exhaust fumes, but are dangerous to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Neil Mitchell