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Campaign to Ban Horse-Drawn Vehicles in NYC

September 25, 2007 | Horses / Animal Rights / Horse Carriages

Council Member Tony Avella Boosts Campaign to Ban Horse-Drawn Vehicles in NYC

Horse Carriage demo
Council Member Tony Avella announces to the press immediate plans to draft and sponsor legislation that would ban horse-drawn carriages.

Early this month, the New York Times published Friends of Animals New York representative Edita Birnkrant's Call to Boycott and End the Carriage Horse Industry (City Section; 9 Sep. 2007), which states:

New York City's horse-drawn carriage industry shouldn't be seen as a permanent fixture just needing cleanup. It's time to end the business entirely." Birnkrant added, "Exploitation is not an appropriate tourist attraction.

Just days later, a mare named Smoothie broke free after being spooked by street noises, ran into a tree, and died.

With high-profile press conferences, interviews, and a candlelight vigil, Friends of Animals, The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, and other supporters have raised public awareness about Smoothie, to join together with other activists in New York City, and to call yet again for a ban on the exploitative industry.

NY1 News, in their piece titled "Animal Rights Groups Call For End Of Hansom Cabs," reported "animal rights activists rallied" to ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council to push legislation that would ban the industry.

"It's the 21st century," Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals told NY1. "It may be a tradition, but it's one that we need to let go of, because it's exploitative, it's unnecessary, and it sends a message of disrespect towards other animals."

Then, some inspiring news was unveiled.

NYC Council Member Tony Avella (Queens) announced to the press immediate plans to draft and sponsor legislation that would ban horse-drawn carriages. Avella's decision marks the first time a politician has decided to sponsor a bill seeking to ban the carriage industry in New York City.

Present at the press conference was Broadway actor and singer Nellie Mckay, who declared, "We will never have human rights until we stop the wholesale exploitation of animals and the environment."

Edita Birnkrant also addressed the crowd and press, noting that future tragedies are inevitable unless New Yorkers support this opportunity to finally end this business in New York City. Birnkrant urged New Yorkers to contact their district Council Member to express their strong support for legislation that would ban the industry.

To support Council Member Tony Avella's proposed ban, contact:

Tony Avella
District 19 Office
38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C
Bayside, New York 11361
District Office Phone: 718.747.2137
District Office Fax: 718.747.3105

What next?

When the industry closes, we at Friends of Animals are committed to assuring every affected horse is placed in a permanent sanctuary. In the coming weeks we expect to work with Council Member Avella in assuring that our shared vision will become a reality, and a long overdue relief for the horses.


I lived in NYC for 10 years (I now reside in NJ) and I still own a business in NYC. I remain outraged and disgusted at the thought of riding in one of the Central Park horse-drawn carriages! I have NEVER ridden in one of the carriages and I NEVER will! am originally from Texas where I owned and rode horses, and I know the medical problems and dangers horses are faced with in NYC: the pavement is extremely hard on their legs and hooves, the carriages are extremely heavy, the horses are forced to stand in extremely hot and/or extremely cold conditions for long hours at a time, not to mention the car and taxi dangers! As a taxpayer in NYC, PLEASE ABOLISH THE ANIMAL ABUSE AND STOP THESE CARRIAGE RIDES IMMEDIATELY! Get off of your duffs folks and TRY WALKING THROUGH THE PARK!

"Exploitation is not an appropriate tourist destination" - what else needs to be said? Sometimes good ideas go bad and must be remedied - welcome to the real world.

I whole-heartidly support Tony Avella's BAN on horse-drawn carriages in NYC. Cheers to you! I remember as a kid how truly sorry I felt for those poor horses, in the heat of the Summer, looking sluggish, tired and pressed to perform. They always seemed to have fear in their eyes and it made me sad then, and it makes me sad -- FURIOUS -- now to know they are still in existence. In this day and age of modern conveniences and technology, people are distracted enough with cellphones & laptop maneuvers while driving, it's not fair to expose these beautiful animals to the mess we made. Get them off the streets and back in the fields where nature intended them to be: Roaming wild and free!

It is time to stop this mistreatment to horses in this manner. The horses are mistreated and the owners should be called upon by our Animal Controll Officiers to monitor the mistreatment of these horses monthly especially in the Summer months.

Finally!It's just a shame that it takes a horse to die for a ban to stop this cruelty to horses. I hope NYC is the first to end Horse-Drawn Carriage rides for good. If you want to go for a ride RIDE A BUS NOT HORSES!

I agree with a petition to keep horses off the streets of New York & anywhere else that they exist used by horse drawn buggies or otherwise.

I agree with a petition to keep horses off the streets of New York & anywhere else that they exist used by horse drawn buggies or otherwise.

Horse drawn carriges have no place in a major city full of traffic and congestion from too many vehicles. The horses are subjected to many pitfalls which will result in more deaths to these beautiful animals. They belong in green pstures where they can live out their lives in peace and serenity.

Finally the horses have a chance at getting out of the horrors of being a carriage horse. It is a pretty name for a miserable existence. Thanks to all who are working so hard to better the lives of the horses and to make NYC have a heart for animals.

I think that horse drawn carriges should be banned in NYC as well as everywhere else. It is a horrible thing to do to horses, covering their eyes like that. They are so scared, and it's just not right....


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