San Antonio City Council today approved those new rules governing the handling of horse drawn carriages on Alamo Plaza, but only after several animal welfare activists urged the city to ban horse drawn carriages altogether, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "The city does not need horse drawn carriages, and should move away from this method," said Dr. Diana Flynn, who called horse drawn carriages 'dirty' and said they subject the horses to being spooked.


  Anita Berkrent of the group Friends of Animals, said the practice is archaic and cruel.


  "Animal abuse is not an appropriate tourist attraction for San Antonio," she said.


  But the horse carriage industry said the horses are treated well and the new regulations, which the industry agreed to, will give San Antonio some of the toughest animal welfare laws in the country.


  The horse proposals are part of a comprehensive new law that covers taxicabs, limousines, and pedicabs as well.