To some it's a romantic way to see a city. To others it exploits horses, forcing them to work long hours under difficult and dangerous conditions. We're talking about the horse-drawn carriage industry.

The Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals will gather near Independence Park tomorrow to call for the end of horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia.

They join animal groups in cities around the world which, as part of an international coalition Horses Without Carriages, have protested against the urban carriage industry.

The group points out that serious accidents occur when horses and cars exist in close proximity, including one this past summer at 3rd and Walnut when a carriage horse was injured after it spooked and wrapped the carriage around a pole.

They also argue that no valid reason exists for continuing the use of horse-drawn carriages today. (Have they been to Lancaster County? More on the treatment of buggy and plow horses at the hands of Amish later this weekend.)

"We are asking Councilperson Frank DiCicco and the other city council members to support legislation which would permanently ban horse-drawn carriages and allow the horses to live out the rest of their lives in peace," said Brandon Gittelman of Friends of Animals in Philadelphia.

The protest starts at 2 p.m. at 5th and Chestnut Streets on Saturday.

For more information on Horses Without Carriages International click here.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Chapter of Friends of Animals click here.