Lettes & Editorials

Saving the Horses

Many people want to see the horse carriage trade come to an end in NYC, and with the looming mayoral election, now is the time to get serious and support legislation that could make it happen. We started this campaign in 2006, and all online polls done since that time show between 75 and 80 percent of respondents favoring a ban of this trade.  

Most people who support a ban just want to see the horses off the street and have not analyzed the electric car bill—Intro 86A. But the money does not exist for these cars. I know, because I have analyzed the bill and the financials behind it. It will cost $4,000,000 the first year to put 23 cars on the road to substitute for 23 horses. The overall cost will be close to $12,000,000. Politicians, who may not realize the funding does not exist, have said that they will leave it up to the tourists to decide which they like better—the cars or a carriage ride. This is not what anyone who supports getting the horses off the street wants. 

How much longer are politicians going to look the other way and try to shift responsibility for doing the right thing? Are they waiting for a human death to occur as it has in other parts of the country?   

Besides, a ban of this business should not be dependent on the success of an untried business.

Continued support for this Emperor’s New Clothes bill is hurting the legislation that actually would make a difference: New York State Senate Bill S667 and Assembly Bill A997, sponsored by Sen. Tony Avella and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, respectively.   

These bills are are not glamorous and not surrounded by celebrities but nevertheless have a better chance of passing and becoming law if legislators have the courage to support them.

It is time! Horses do not belong on congested city streets. There have been too many accidents to mention here, and many continue to go unreported.

Please get involved and visit us at www.banhdc.org.

—  Elizabeth Forel, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages