Horse-drawn carriages to be tested in downtown Las Vegas - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Horse-drawn carriages to be tested in downtown Las Vegas

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In this undated image, cars move along Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. (File/FOX5) In this undated image, cars move along Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

After a nearly 30-year absence, horse-drawn carriages will be returning to downtown Las Vegas on a trial basis.

The Las Vegas City Council voted four to three Wednesday to allow the equine-based transportation on the streets of downtown for a yearlong test, pending the approval of business licenses.

According to city records, applicants Yovanys Serrano and Margarita Reyes looked for permission to operate horse-drawn carriage businesses.

The applications came after the city lifted a ban on the rides in 2007. Before the ban was lifted, horse-drawn carriages were non-existent for 22 years after an accident left four people injured. In that incident, people were thrown from a carriage on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Under the new rules, carriages are not allowed on busy streets, including Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. The rules also prohibit rides on Main Street and Fourth Street and on Stewart Avenue between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the week. Instead, rides are allowed in areas between Main Street and Maryland Parkway, as well as Bonneville Avenue.

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian was among those who voted against the measure. She's worried about the safety of the animals.

"Who's going to handle this? Animal control? They can't even handle feral cats and loose dogs, things like that," Tarkanian said.

Laws already exist that place restrictions on the rides based on, for example, how hot it is outside, how often the animals get a break and how long they can work. Horses won't be allowed to work on a day when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or hotter.

Animal rights group Nevada Voters for Animals rallied against horse and carriage rides at City Hall Wednesday morning. They believe the rides are too dangerous for horses, riders and pedestrians.

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