THE TOP 15 REASONS
WHY NYC SHOULD BAN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES
NYC is one of the most traffic congested cities in the
world. Slow moving horse-drawn carriages are a danger to
themselves and to others and often get in the way of emergency
These horses weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds. Approximately
half are draft breeds but many are break-downs from the race
track. They are prey animals and can be startled at the slightest
provocation, bolting into traffic, causing injury or death to
themselves or anyone who is near. They become unwitting weapons.
There have been many accidents - some ending in the
of the horse. Many other accidents are heard about
word of mouth and photos taken by passersby.
4. The horses live in multi storied stables on the far
west side of Manhattan and most stalls are on the 2nd floor. They
are fire traps with only one means of egress. Horses reach the
upper floors by ramps, which is hard on older arthritic horses.
By law, horses are allowed to work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Although they are supposed to get a 15 minute break
every 2 hours,
there is no way to enforce it. They are stuck
between the shafts
of their carriage and are unable to even
scratch an itch. When
they are unencumbered by these
shackles, horses can back into a tree or
fence to relieve an
6. The horses get no turnout to pasture. Experts advise
turnout every day or at least every few days. By law the horses
are supposed to get five weeks “vacation” a
year. It is not only unenforceable, but for the other 47 weeks,
they live a barren and sterile existence.
By law, stalls are to be a minimum of 60 sq. ft. This is less
than one half what experts recommend, which is 144 sq. ft.
for standardbreds and 196 sq. ft. for larger draft
breeds. It is
impossible to lie down comfortably in such small stalls.
Horses are often seen eating their grain off the street, which is
thrown there and can be mixed with dirt and glass. In the winter,
only one water trough operates in Central Park and there are no water
troughs in Times Square where they work at night until 3:00 AM.
Horses may not work when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or 18
degrees. There is no consideration for humidity or wind
chill. If the temperature is 89 degrees and humidity makes it
feel like 99, the horses may still work. The only thermometer
that can be used to determine temperature is held by the ASPCA officers
who are not always available. When the ASPCA does suspend
the carriages - it is only until the temperature drops or
increases depending on the time of year. The drivers may return.
However, there is no provision in the law for how to end a
suspension and the drivers come back to Central Park at will.
Many of the laws governing this industry are not enforced.
The NYPD looks the other way and defers to the ASPCA Humane Law
Enforcement Division, which is often not available.
There are no records for horses sold outside NYC and it is highly
possible many go on to the slaughter auctions. Between 60-70
horses are unaccounted for each year.
Horses working in automobile traffic lanes are constantly positioned on
their carriages working nose-to-tailpipe and show corresponding
respiratory impairment caused by sucking up exhaust fumes.
Horses spend all their time outside walking with steel shoes on
asphalt, which is an unnaturally hard concussive surface and
contributes to lameness.
Asphalt becomes very hot in the summer months and there is no shade on
the hack line causing horses to overheat.
For their entire life in this industry, NYC carriage horses do
not have the opportunity to perform natural movements or
experience normal socialization, so necessary for herd animals.
her classic novel, Black Beauty, London 1877, Anna Sewell - wrote,
"My doctrine is this,
that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing,
we make ourselves sharers in the guilt."