June 11, 2014 / 8:15 PM / 5 years ago

New Yorkers back carriage horses, less keen on ferrets: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Yorkers support keeping carriage horses in Central Park two-to-one, but pet ferrets are more of a long shot, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The horse-drawn carriages should remain in Central Park, where they are popular with tourists, said two-thirds of those polled by Quinnipiac University.

A suggestion to ban the hansom cabs has gained attention since Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his campaign last fall that he would support such a law, citing the welfare of the animals.

“Support for the horses is strong across party, gender and racial lines,” the survey said.

Just 39 percent in the poll, on the other hand, supported allowing ferrets to be kept as pets in the city. Another 42 percent opted against the small, furry mammals.

Keeping ferrets in New York City has been prohibited for decades, but health officials recently said they would recommend lifting the ban if safety precautions like rabies vaccinations were required.

Men were more sympathetic to ferrets than were women, the poll said.

Quinnipiac University polled slightly more than 1,000 New York City voters between last Thursday and Monday. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jim Loney

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