Alec Baldwin urges de Blasio to stop carriage horse rides amid coronavirus

Alec Baldwin wants New York City to pull the reigns on Central Park’s carriage horse trade amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The “30 Rock” star sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday applauding him on measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 — and 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,” Baldwin 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 through NYCLASS, an animal rights group that strongly opposes the hansom cabs.

Baldwin, 61, has been a longtime opponent of the trade. In 1992, the hothead actor galloped into a rage during a City Hall hearing on horse-drawn carriages.

A plainclothes police officer reportedly had to separate Baldwin from a horse cab operator. And as Baldwin walked away, he reportedly muttered “f—-t” and challenged the man, “Come on, come on out.”

“Alec Baldwin has hated us for more than 30 years,” said Christina Hansen, a rep for Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, a trade group that represents owners and drivers.

“We’re not really impressed with his desire to pile on when we and all the other tourist businesses are really suffering right now,” Hansen added.

Horse cab drivers have been taking precautions such as wiping down surfaces, laundering blankets and handing out hand sanitizer, she said.

Rides are scarce these days though, as tourism in the Big Apple has plummeted and more New Yorkers self-isolate at home to halt the spread of the outbreak.

“Carriages that do go out are lucky if they do a ride in a whole day, the main purpose is to get horse out to exercise and to maintain continuity,” Hansen said.

City Hall didn’t immediately return a request for comment. De Blasio has long tried to ban the carriage horses.

Source: Read Full Article