Could the end of carrier horse rides in downtown Chicago be at hand? The Chicago City Council is expected to meet virtually Wednesday, April 22, 2020, to vote on whether to deny the renewal of the business licenses for carriage horse companies.

City Council members will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday to vote on Ordinance O2019-4125, which has been opposed by the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (IVSMA), the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and a coalition of other partners.

The ISVMA opposes the ordinance on the following grounds:

  • Chicago carriage horses are overseen by an equine veterinarian to ensure their health.
  • They operate under very strict, protective measures to ensure content and healthy horses.
  • The horses are strictly regulated by the city of Chicago to ensure welfare and safety standards.
  • The horses are bred to work and it is evident that they enjoy their work.
  • Studies reveal health benefits to children and adults when experiencing contact with animals.
  • In the last 25 years, no horses have been harmed while pulling a horse-drawn carriage in downtown Chicago.
  • A carriage horse ban eliminates jobs for both horse and owner.
  • A carriage ban puts more restrictions on horses than on humans who operate pedicabs.

To voice your opinion on the proposed ordinance, the following can be contacted:

Brian Hopkins, ordinance co-sponsor: (312) 744-6836 or

Brendan Reilly, ordinance co-sponsor: (312) 744-3062 or

Emma Mitts, chair of Licensing & Consumer Protection Committee: (312) 744-3180 or

Mayor Lori Lightfoot: (312) 744-3300