Liam Neeson: Horse-Drawn Carriage Stance Sparks Ire of Activists

Image: Liam Neeson: Horse-Drawn Carriage Stance Sparks Ire of Activists Dressed as a horse, Lisa Jablow, center, a member of NYCLASS which opposes use of carriage horses in New York City, joins other animal rights activists outside actor Liam Neeson's home on Saturday.

Monday, 21 Apr 2014 12:46 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Liam Neeson was the target of a group of animal rights activists who gathered outside the actor's New York City home over the weekend to protest his support of horse-drawn carriages.

An estimated 50 demonstrators showed up at the 61-year-old "Taken" star's residence Saturday with signs reading "Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!" and "Worked to Death!" One person even reportedly dressed as a horse.

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The backlash was in response to Neeson's vocal support of horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. The actor has also taken a number of public stances against Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed carriage ban.

"Before we lose this signature element of New York’s culture and history — instantly recognizable to the millions of tourists who visit our city and contribute to its economy — the least the mayor can do is come down to the stables and see how the horses are cared for," Neeson wrote in a New York Times op-ed last week.

"I urge Mr. de Blasio to meet the working men and women whose jobs are at stake and to start a dialogue that will safeguard a future for the horses that the majority of New Yorkers want."

In February, he bashed the mayor during an appearance on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show."

"I'm a little bit pissed off at our elected new mayor," Neeson said. "He wants to close this horse and carriage industry in New York. There was a poll last week. Over 60 percent of New Yorkers want to keep the horse carriage industry in Central Park."

The protestors argue that the carriage business promotes cruelty to animals.

"It's 2014, not 1914. It's time for a change," Manhattan resident Peter Wood told The Associated Press. "Horses don't belong in traffic, surrounded by buses. They don't belong in the city; it's outdated, it's cruel. Life attached to a carriage with a poop bag attached to your rear end — that's no life."

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