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CARRIAGE HORSES
Letters

The romantic 19th century charm of a carriage horse ride?

NEWSDAY LETTERS - MAY 16, 2006

The romantic 19th century charm of a carriage horse ride is a fantastic myth juxtaposed onto 21st century New York City. These idyllic conditions never existed.

Horses often lived a life of drudgery, neglect and abuse and, if ill, were left to die on the streets. Our petitions show that many tourists oppose horse-drawn carriages and avoid the park area.

Confining horses to Central Park is not going to solve the problem. There are just as many accidents in Central Park and adjacent streets as there are in other areas of the city. Horses would still have to travel to and from their stables - all on the far West Side of Manhattan, one to three miles away.

Carriage horses, wearing blinders, work nine hours a day between the shafts of their carriages. They make the long journey back to their stables to spend more monotonous hours in stalls. There is nothing "romantic" about this.

At the end of their work life, some horses may go to loving homes. But the dirty little secret is that many go to auction and are sold for slaughter.

Elizabeth Forel

Editor's note: The writer is director of the Coalition for NYC Animals Inc. and founding member of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

Manhattan
 

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