In 2017, a ban on street trading permits for horse-drawn vehicles came into effect, and now the Andrews government has announced a total ban on horse-drawn carriages in the CBD. From June, the off-limits area will encompass the Hoddle Grid and the CBD, between Spencer to Spring streets and Flinders to La Trobe Streets.
In a press conference with reporters, transport minister Ben Carroll stated that the ban is a result of the safety risk posed by horse-drawn carriages to pedestrians, motorists and commuters traversing the city. Animal rights activists and groups like RSPCA Victoria have long been calling for a ban on carriage horses out of concern for horse welfare and animal cruelty.
According to Carroll, there are only four operators left in the CBD, and the government plans to assist them in the transition. While punters will no longer be able to ride carriages in and through the CBD, horse-drawn carriages will still be allowed to operate on the city's outskirts, including park precincts like the Royal Botanic Gardens.