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Friends of Animals and Coalition Laud Avella's Stance on Horses, Look Forward to Future

December 14, 2007 | Horses / Horse Carriages

Friends of Animals and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages thank New York City council member Tony Avella for the courageous and forward-thinking legislation that was formally introduced Tuesday, the 11th of December, at City Hall - Intro 658 "“ to end the custom of horse-drawn carriages in the city.

More than 100 supporters gathered to ban horse carirages.
New York City council member Tony Avella and over 100 supporters standing on the steps of City Hall. photo: S. Michael Bisceglie

This past weekend, more than 100 supporters of the change gathered at City Hall for an historic press conference and rally. The event was covered in the news as far away as New Zealand and China.
It marks the first time in New York City history that legislation to enact a ban had been introduced.

"It's long overdue," said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, noting that horse-drawn vehicles have been removed from the streets of many cities, including Toronto, London and Paris.

JoAnne Worley, Broadway star and animal advocate, speaking to press with Edita Birnkrant and Tony Avella.
JoAnne Worley, Broadway star and animal advocate, speaking to press with Edita Birnkrant and Tony Avella.

The ASPCA has committed its support for the change, stating that the group "can no longer accept the status quo." ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres added: "Increased accidents, the recent death of a carriage horse and the city comptroller's report all underscore the urgency to get these horses off the streets."

Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals said, "Ending the disrespectful practice of using horses as vehicles in New York City sends a message that respect for animals is a hallmark of life in the 21st century."

Taking Action For the Horses

Horse-drawn carriage navigating heavy Manhattan traffic.
Horse-drawn carriage navigating heavy Manhattan traffic.

The City Council defines Intro 658 as "a Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to repealing all provisions allowing for the operation of horse drawn cabs." This bill is currently in the Consumer Affairs committee. What the bill needs most is support from the other Council Members so it will be enacted. If you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, you have a Council Member who represents your district, and can voice your support for this bill by writing a letter or calling your Council Member to express your full support for Intro 658--the bill to ban horse-drawn vehicles, and asking them to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill

 Edita Birnkrant speaking to press.
Edita Birnkrant speaking to press.

To find out who your Council Member is, see or call Edita at 212.247.8120

Even if you live outside New York, do you still decide whether to travel to the City? If so, state your views. The head of the Consumer Affairs committee, Council Member Leroy Comrie, needs to hear your respectful feedback and support in order to be persuaded to support Intro 658.

Council Member Leroy Comrie
113-43 Farmers Blvd.
St. Albans, NY 11412

For more information, contact Edita Birnkrant at 212.247.8120


I have long decided I will not visit any city with horse-drawn carriages. I was in Chicago and Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada, this year and had to see these beautiful creatures being enslaved for the pleasure of ignorant tourists. It was heart wrenching. I approached a few of those horses with sad and lost eyes and could tell they were starving for some kindness. When I talked to the drivers, I had to hear "how good the horses have it since they WORK a few hours a day and off they go to the barn". WOW! That is really a good life, isn't it? I did let the mayors of those cities know that as long as they support this exploitation of animals, they will not be seeing my tourist dollars.

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