Horse Carriages May Be Coming To An End In Chicago, City Council To Hold Hearing On Ban

Mike Krauser
September 11, 2018 - 12:14 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago City Council committee takes up the latest effort to ban horse carriages on Wednesday and the operators fear they could lose this time and be put out of business.  

Jim Rogers, the owner of Great Lakes Horse and Carriage, said he' sick about it. He fears aldermen will buckle to what he calls "a handful of radical animal rights activists."

He and the other operators vehemently deny the assertion by activist Jodie Weiderkehr that it’s animal cruelty.  

Rogers said, "we care the most about our animals, more than anyone else." 

Wiederkehr documents violations of the ordinance and sends them on to the city's Department of Business and Consumer Protection. 

Last year, there were more than 300 citations, mostly for operating longer than the six hours allowed under the ordinance.  But also for operating when it's too hot and not providing water. 

Rogers said the owners settled those with the understanding that there would be discussion about changing some rules.  

He said he's not defending violations, but insists the horses are well cared for. 

Downtown Alderman Brendan Reilly and several colleagues are sponsoring the ban. As it’s written, it would prevent license renewals.  And they’re up at the end of November.  

They say the carriages cause congestion and they’re cruel to horses, which Rogers and the others strongly deny. 

There's an 11 a.m. hearing Wednesday at City Hall.