Alec Baldwin urges New York Mayor to ban horse carriage rides amid coronavirus crisis

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin has requested New York Mayor Bill de Blasio suspend horse carriage rides around Central Park amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The 30 Rock actor applauded de Blasio on measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 in a letter sent on Wednesday, before asking him to shutter "one shady trade that continues to put people at risk".

"As we face an unprecedented crisis of contagion, it is shocking that carriage drivers still cram tourists into small carriages and give them shared, reused blankets, with the driver seated just inches ahead of them," he wrote. "This reckless disregard may well fuel the spread of the coronavirus to both New Yorkers and unwitting visitors from across the country."

The letter was sent in association with NYCLASS - an animal rights group that strongly opposes the hansom cabs.

The 61-year-old has a long history with the trade, and reportedly had to be separated from a horse cab operator by a plainclothes police officer during a City Hall hearing on horse-drawn carriages in 1992.

However, a representative for the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, a trade group that represents owners and drivers, was not happy with Baldwin's comments.

"Alec Baldwin has hated us for more than 30 years," they said, according to the New York Post's gossip column Page Six. "We're not really impressed with his desire to pile on when we and all the other tourist businesses are really suffering right now."

Horse cab drivers have been taking precautions such as wiping down surfaces, laundering blankets, and handing out hand sanitiser amid the global health crisis.

It comes after de Blasio ordered restaurants, bars, and cafes to only sell food on a takeaway or delivery basis, as the city battles to halt the spread of Covid-19. He also moved to close nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, and concert venues.

© Cover Media