Dozens of animal rights activists protested outside the Manhattan home of actor Liam Neeson to oppose his support for New York's horse-drawn carriages this weekend.
Neeson has taken on the role as a spokesman for the Central Park horse drivers and in opposition to Mayor Bill de Blasio's promised but as yet undelivered ban on the carriages.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) picketed outside the apartment with signs saying, 'Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty'.
"Liam Neeson has abused his stature as a celebrity to promote lies among the general public," said Allie Feldman, head of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, or NY CLASS, a leading horse-drawn carriage opponent.
"Keep in mind, he is the only celebrity to ever support the abusive carriage-horse industry."
Last week, NY CLASS unveiled an eCarriage, which is modeled after turn-of-the-century cars, that they say can replace the horse-drawn variety. The horse operators dispute that there is a market for vintage car rides.
As the activists picketed yesterday, a handful of people disagreeing walked up and verbally sparred with them.The exchanges were reported by Newsday.
"These horses are beautifully cared for!" said Nick Bacon.
"I don't really think so!" answered Diane Cohen.
"They're well fed, they're well regulated!" Bacon said.
"People have to be progressive and move on" Cohen said, before Bacon cut her off:
"Madam, those horses are doing what they've been bred for for thousands of years."
Neeson was unavailable for comment on the protest, nor did he 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.