Eyewitness News - Channel 7, NYC (New York - WABC, May 11, 2006)
Coalition for NYC Animals' comments are in italics..
Find out the existing rules that govern New York City's carriage horses, and
what can you do to help if you see a violation.
The ASPCA's Humane Enforcement Department, along with the NYPD and other law
enforcement agencies, enforces rules and regulations for NYC carriage horses,
ranging from work hours to temperature restrictions to rules about leaving and
returning to the stable.
Rules and Regulations from the ASPCA:
Work Day: Carriage horses shall not work more than nine hours a day. This
includes the 15 minute rest period required for every two hours worked.
[There is no way to check this]
Temperature Restrictions: Carriage horses are prohibited from working when
the temperature is 18 degrees F or below, or when the temperature is 90 degrees
F or above, or the wet bulb is 85 degrees F or above. [There is no
consideration for the humidity index or wind chill factor.]
Blanketing: Horses are to be blanketed during the winter months while
awaiting passengers. [No one to enforce it and mostly does not happen.]
Return to Stable: When the temperature exceeds the limits during the course
of a ride, the driver must cease working at the end of the ride, but no later
than 1/2 hour after the temperature exceeds the limits.
Lame/Ill Horses: Regardless of permissible working hours and areas of
operation, horses are prohibited from working if lame or ill. [If an ASPCA
officer is not available to see this, there is no one to enforce this law.]
Adverse Weather: Regardless of permissible working hours and areas of
operation, horses are prohibited from working during "adverse weather." This is
defined as "any condition which is hazardous to the health and safety of the
horse, driver, rider, or public." Adverse weather includes (but is not limited
to) "snow, ice, heavy rain, or other slippery conditions." [The ASPCA only
sends horses back to their stables when it is 90 degrees and above or 18 degrees
and below -- but generally not for snow or heavy rain. There have been many
times when it is snowing very heavily, but the temperature is above 18 and the
horses are still out.]
Exigent Circumstances: Police officers authorized to order drivers to refrain
from operating in any area at any time during exigent circumstances
(pedestrian/vehicular traffic, accidents, fire, parade, etc.)
Leaving/Returning to Stable: Horses can leave the stable up to 30 minutes
prior to permissible work time and return to the stable up to 30 minutes after
permissible working time.
Bridges/Tunnels: Carriage horses are never allowed on bridges or in tunnels.
Carriage horses are prohibited everywhere in the borough of Manhattan Monday
thru Friday 7AM- 10AM
Carriage horses are prohibited everywhere in the borough of Manhattan EXCEPT
in Central Park, Monday thru Friday 10AM- 9PM
To report violations of the law call 311 or the ASPCA Humane Enforcement
Department at 212-876-7700 (4450) [The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement is not
open in the evening or on weekends.]
Frequently Asked Questions About NYC Carriage Horses:
Q: What is the ASPCA doing to help the New York City carriage horses?
A: The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement department assigns agents to check on
these horses regularly. The agents make sure that the horses are receiving
proper care, that administrative requirements are being met, and that cruelty
laws are not being violated.
Q: How many hours are the horses allowed to work? Do they get a day off?
A: Carriage horses are not allowed to work more than nine hours in any
24-hour period. Current law does not provide the horses a day off from work.
Q: It is illegal for carriage horses to work when it is too hot or too cold?
What are the laws regarding weather conditions?
A: Carriage horses may not work when the air temperature reaches 90 degrees
in the summer or falls below 18 degrees in the winter. Currently, there are no
regulations that factor in humidity or wind chill.
Q: Do the carriage horses have to stay in Central Park all the time?
A: No. The horses must stay in or adjacent to Central Park on weekdays from
10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Q: Is the ASPCA the only entity that enforces the laws and regulations
pertaining to the carriage horses?
A: No. The New York City Police Department, the Health Department, the
Consumer Affairs Department, and the Parks Department also enforce these laws.
Q: What can I do if I think there is a violation involving New York City's
A: Try to obtain the license plate number of the carriage and report it to
the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.
Q: What can I do to help make life better for the carriage horses?
A: Contact your city and state representatives to voice your opinion. You can
also visit our ASPCA Advocacy Center to learn more about how you can help New
York City's carriage horses.