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Alexis Stewart: Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

NY NEWSDAY, January 11, 2006

By Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Martha Stewart's daughter and "Apprentice" co-star, Alexis Stewart, has written Mayor Michael Bloomberg a letter urging him to support a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages.

In a letter written on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Stewart said she was upset by a recent accident involving a horse that ran into vehicular traffic while pulling a carriage home from Central Park.

The carriage driver was seriously injured. The horse, which hit a car, was euthanized.

"As evidenced by this catastrophe," Stewart wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday, "horse-drawn carriages aren't just cruel to the horses who are forced to work long hours in extreme weather conditions while walking on hard pavement and inhaling exhaust fumes all day long; they are equally dangerous to riders, drivers, pedestrians and motorists."

Bloomberg's office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the letter Wednesday.

Operators of Central Park's horse-drawn carriages have vehemently denied that the animals are mistreated and say accidents like the Jan. 2 crash are rare.

PETA and the Stewart clan have an unusual history.

In 2004, the animal rights group put Martha Stewart at the top of its Worst Dressed list for wearing what appeared to be a fur scarf while leaving a federal courthouse. The fur, however, turned out to be fake.

"My daughter doesn't allow me to wear fur," Martha Stewart explained in a Barbara Walters interview.

PETA quickly revised its list, and Stewart didn't hold a grudge.

She later videotaped a public service message for PETA decrying fur industry practices as cruel.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

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