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Friday 1 August 2014

Liam Neeson targeted by PETA protestors in New York over horse drawn carriage controversy

Published 19/04/2014|20:57

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WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Actor Liam Neeson attends the premiere of Universal Pictures and Studiocanal's 'Non-Stop' at Regency Village Theatre on February 24, 2014 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Liam Neeson

Irish actor Liam Neeson was today targeted by animal rights activists, protesting his support of New York's horse drawn carriages.

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The Ballymena native is currently residing in the Big Apple and is a vocal supporter of the horse drawn carriage system in the city, which is a huge draw for tourists.

But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) picketed outside his plush apartment with signs saying, 'Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty'.

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He did comment on the protest, or leave his building to meet the activists.

He recently wrote a column for the New York Times in support of the carriages, with the headline: 'Carriages belong in Central Park'.

"New York’s horse carriages have made an estimated six million trips in traffic over the last 30 years. In that time, just four horses have been killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities," he wrote for the paper.

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"A majority of carriage drivers and stable hands are recent immigrants, often raised on farms in their home countries. They love their jobs and their horses, and they take pride in being ambassadors for this great city."

New York mayor Bill de Blasio recently pledged to ban the practice and instead replace them with same-look electrical versions after complaints by animal rights organisations.

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