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Horse Advocates Seek Carriage Ban

May 03, 2006 | Horses

For Immediate Release
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
Tel: 917. 940.2725

Calling for Decency and Public Safety, Horse Advocates Seek Carriage Ban

NEW YORK, NY - A coalition including Friends of Animals and others striving to ban horse-drawn carriages once again urges Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council to pass legislation that would end the dangerous carriage horse industry in New York City.

The latest accident occurred on Friday, April 28th on Central Drive near 64th St. in Central Park: A frightened horse bolted into a 71-year-old bicyclist, who was hospitalized with injuries, as well as the driver of the carriage, who sustained an injured knee.

Occurring only three months after the tragic accident in January that severely injured a carriage driver and left a horse dead, the incident shows that public safety and decency are compromised by carriage horses in the streets.

Why ban horse-drawn vehicles in New York?

Many modern cities -- Toronto, Paris, London, and others -- have taken an enlightened approach, ending the tradition of animal-drawn vehicles. Animals do not belong in commercial activity that forces them to compete with heavy traffic or be exposed to harsh elements. These reasons apply as strongly in New York City as they do anywhere in the world.

Why not just allow animal-drawn carriages at Central Park?

John Phillips, Executive Director of League of Humane Voters, and a founding member of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, explains, "Central Park is filled with bicyclists, runners, children and pedestrians, in addition to cars and taxis-no place for carriage horses. We can't wait for yet another tragedy to occur before the Mayor and City Council address this problem seriously."

Horses travel to and from the stables located on 9th and 10th Avenues, between W. 37th and W. 52nd Streets. Keeping commercial horse activity adjacent to Central Park, as Council Member Tony Avella's recently proposed legislation seeks to do, fails to acknowledge that horses would still travel this congested corridor -- also a route for emergency vehicles to and from St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital and Roosevelt Hospital, and a conduit for many vehicles going to the Lincoln Tunnel or the West Side Highway. The horrific accident in January happened on this very route back to the stables from Central Park.

Avella's legislation focuses on regulating the activity and not ending it. The historical urge to reform the horse-drawn carriage industry is a dangerous pattern.

Regulating the practice won't stop public safety problems. And it seeks to sustain a disrespectful practice that needs to be ended.

The Coalition has drafted legislation to effectively phase out this industry and seeks to have current horses adopted to protect them from kill auctions.


The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, and supporters, will be educating the public on Saturday, May 6th, from 12pm-4pm, at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, at 59th St. Many carriage-horses are stationed here, and pick up passengers for rides, making it a perfect spot to hand out our “What’s Wrong With Horse-Drawn Carriages in NYC’ educational flyers. We will also be getting signatures from New Yorkers and tourists who support a ban, which will be collected and given to New York City Council Member Gale Brewer, who represents District 6—the area the carriage-horses preside. With enough public support, we can convince the Mayor and the City Council to pass legislation that would end the dangerous carriage horse industry in New York City. Last week’s accident in which a frightened horse ran out of control of his carriage and collided with a 71 year-old bicycle rider in Central Park—resulting in the man’s hospitalization-came just three months after another tragic accident in which a horse again ran out of control and collided with a station wagon, causing serious injuries to the driver of the carriage, and resulted in the horse, named Spotty, being killed. Volunteers who would like to help educate the public on Saturday are welcome. Contact Edita Birnkrant, at 212-247-8120 for more info. Edita Birnkrant Friends of Animals

This is horrible. Horses belong on Farms not in big cities full of traffic. I cannot believe this is not against the law. These poor horses are terrified of cars and trucks beeping and making noise all day long. I don't believe horses should be doing this at all. If they have too they should be in the park and the park ONLY!!!!!! How can you expect these animals to do this day in and day out without being frightened constantly. There has to be laws to protect these animals. [Blog editors' note: Best overall idea is to leave free-living horses on public lands rather than rounding them up to be privately owned and discarded. That respects their freedom and gets them out of ownership racket. Linda Parella Union, New Jersey

This isn't right! I work with horses, I help them when they are hurt, sick, whatever-this is hurting them. Where I am now they barely act like horses, they are used to cars, and loud noises. I can only imagine, how they would feel everyday in a CITY! I hope this stops, this is not right at all! I ask that if someone who can fix this is reading my comment, to PLEASE do something. When I was 12 I saw a horse being slaughtered, I can never forget that horse that died, I used to ride her when I was 9 years old. Now she is gone. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!!!

If we are to save the carriage horses of NEW YORK, then think again about the horses used in NY that carry police. They also have to deal with the day to day street traffic, noise, and more. It's one thing to save carriage horses, another to save all animals that are used in any big city...even by the police.

I'm sick of watching the news and checking this website to find out there was another crash and a horse died. I am 12 yrs old I have never ridden a horse before and they're all gonna be dead if things keep going the way they do!I cannot belive that this is happening, and the issues with the cops on horses I think they should get bikes or trucks, something like that. Not living animals they might have a earlier death than other horses or mules or any animal for that matter normally do because of all the pollution and risk of some student driver or a car out of control to hit them and they might have to be put down or they'll die a painfull death it's horrible either way and I don't think it's fair the way People treat all animals with abuse or as food! That's why I am praying that NYC will sign that petition and stop what's happening to these amazing magnificent creatures!!Animals ARE NOT city creatures they shouldn't need to inhale these fumes all day just for peoples enjoyments or for money!!

What about some of the horses that are TOO SMALL to be pulling such a heavy carriage? I keep seeing one horse in my neighborhood who has severe weight loss due to work that is too strenuous. He looks as if his body is breaking down his muscles protein to provide fuel for his body to keep working and working and working. I worked with horses for years so I know what overwork and underfeeding look like. He can't wait for a ban on carriages to be passed. He needs help right now. Does this fall under animal abuse since he is not physically suited to the work that he is doing? Can anybody out there help me to help him?

I thought with the invention of automobiles that there would be no need for using horses to transport people around, but I guess not, horses don't belong in busy streets anymore, not with the cars, buses, and don't forget the pollution and all that noise and confusion. It's just not right, I think that the horses have done enough and been exploited far to long, stop this at once, for once the human race should show some compasion to the animals just as they have done for us,undeserving though we are.

I don't think New-York City streets is a place for horses to pull carriages either except in the Park. But, I was thinking about Amish people that are still using horse-drawn vehicles to go to doctors, shopping etc... How long before they stop them too? I'm Canadian, will they eventually get rid of the Canadian Mounted Police too? Once they stop carriages, some people will take it further.

As a owner of the largest fleet of horse drawn carriages in NYC,and hte building they live in,these above comments are obviously made by some fanatical ill informed people.These horses are treated better than most''pleasure horses'',they are kept under 24 hr stable staff 24/7,they have Vets on 24 hr call,by their owners,they must pass a health exam before being licensed,and are regularly checked by local authorities.Owners,have the horses teeth checked 2x a yr,they are are shod every 6 wks,and are up to date on vaccinations,and deworming schedule.We have our own farm,where we rotate our working horses,and wonderful retirement homes to relocate them,when its time to retire.This is a factual comment,not these nightmare stories,that are told by extremists.

I think you shoulld be somewhat fair,and post people who actually own and operate horse drawn carriages in NYC.Yesterday,i emailed a comment explaining things 1st hand the real truth to maybe educate interested parties,about our industry,but i see i was never printed.Come on now,this is another valid email address with a realistic view,maybe it cuts down on donations to your organization,but to really help the horses show another side to your accusations.This comment is being copied and mailed to the local newspapers to display how unfair,and 1 sided and unfairly you accuse our business,and most of all our horses! [Blog editors' note: We publish dissenting views; there is no reason to think people will not support us because we publish yours. We do, however, firmly disagree with your viewpoint. Understand that we are an animal-rights group, and we take a dim view of exploiting other animals for profit.]


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