Liam Neeson gave an unbridled defense of carriage horse owners on “The Daily Show” on Wednesday, criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desire to ban their clip-clopping from city streets.
Ostensibly to promote his new movie, “Non-Stop,” Neeson used the interview to criticize de Blasio and the animal rights groups that “put out all this false information about how these horses are treated.”
“He won’t even take a meeting with the horse carriage industry,” Neeson said of the mayor. “He’s supposed to be representing the New York people…dammit!”
Neeson said he has spent time in the horse stables and knows people who care for them.
“These guys treat these horses like their children,” Neeson said.
Host Jon Stewart took up the counterpoint, saying he feels bad for horses who have to walk through midtown traffic.
“From my perspective, it does not seem to be — and this may be just an emotional reaction — a particularly fulfilling life for an animal.”
“But they’re trained for this,” Neeson countered.
“Unless it’s Mr. Ed you really don’t know,” Stewart said. “They may look at you and say ‘neigh.'”
Supporting a ban on carriage horses was a boon to de Blasio’s campaign and he said the issue would be among his first actions. Two months into his administration, the City Council has yet to come up with a timetable to act on legislation. The mayor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
But during the mayor’s own interview on “The Daily Show” on Feb. 3, he said “it’ll take some time” to get a ban in effect.
“In a humane society — I really believe this — horses do not belong in the middle of traffic in New York City they don’t belong in an urban environment like this,” he said.