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(USA TODAY) In the latest street fight over horse-drawn carriages, Liam Neeson is taking aim at New York City Hall.

In a bid to derail Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to replace the carriages with vintage electric cars, theTakenactor invited City Council members to the Clinton Park Stables to show how "well cared for" Central Park carriage horses are.

De Blasio declined the invitation and Neeson said the mayor should have "manned" up and faced him. He also ridiculed the mayor's plan, saying how a similar electric cars idea had failed in San Francisco. "Like we need more cars in New York," he joked.

Neeson, who says he has been walking in Central Park for 20 years, then gave an unbridled defense for his "brothers and sisters" in the industry.

Instead of promoting his new movieNon-Stop, the actor has been raising a stink lately about the campaign onThe Daily Show with Jon Stewartand theTonightShow Starring Jimmy Fallon.

While Neeson and others in the industry support the centuries-old tradition, animal rights groups are saying it's cruel to force the horses to trudge down congested city streets.

A campaign group NYCLASS has launched a petition for the practice to be made illegal. Meanwhile, de Blasio, who has yet to take a stable tour as promised, responded to Neeson's comments on MSNBC'sMorning Joe, saying he's a Liam Neeson fan, but horse-drawn carriages in the cities of today just don't "make sense."

By Desair Brown, USA TODAY

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