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by Joan Reddy
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that although he had to push back the ban on horse-drawn carriages, he is still very committed to the cause and that it will be done sometime “this year.” De Blaiso initially wanted to ban the horses from Manhattan’s streets and Central Park during his first week in office.

“A horse in the middle of the streets of Midtown doesn’t belong,” do Blaiso said during an online Google Hangout video chat. “I think a humane society doesn’t do that to animals and we have an alternative where we’ll have an opportunity for tourists to have a similar experience but without horses being a part of it,” he added.

De Blaiso said that he knew in his “heart” that the ban was right, regardless that the polls show the majority of New Yorkers are opposed to it. “That is part of making change in the world,” he said.

Horse-drawn carriage operators and allies have loudly opposed the mayor’s plan, including actor Liam Neeson who toured the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street last month. “This is an industry that’s been here since before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration,” Neeson said. “These horses are well cared for.”

Carriage operators say that banning the horses will cost the city jobs and deprive New York of one of its iconic industries. De Blasio has proposed replacing the carriages with electric cars and argues that the change will help create more employment. “We’ll have an opportunity for jobs for folks,” he said.

De Blaiso said there already a bill is being drafted in City Council, and “we expect action on it this year.” So far, the council has not yet introduced the legislation.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Joan Reddy

Joan Reddy is a professional photographer, writer, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. Joan holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, in Toronto, where her thesis focused on Animal Rights. Through her writing, Joan wants to help to educate the public about the way animals are abused and exploited, in cultures around the world. Joan is also founder and president of the Federal registered non-profit organization "International Communication for Animal Justice." Her organization's website can be found at www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org, and her professional profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-reddy/22/999/449.

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  • Kim

    Slavery was here before Abraham Lincoln too, you ignorant fool, Liam Neeson. That does not make horse drawn carriage something we should continue in a modern, industrial society.

    • gypsyrose1

      Children who develop relationships with animals – esp horses – learn responsibility, compassion and self respect. It takes self discipline to learn how to manage a 1000# animal safely. Girls, in particular, love being around horses. That’s much better than hanging out with a gang or a boy who treats her badly. NYC could use more horses.

      • Kim

        I have ben around animals all of my life, and I am almost 60. My parents taught me to love all living things, but they also showed me what is, and what is not, humane. Standing on hard hot pavement for hours at a time, lugging a heavy wagon through exhaust-pipe to nose traffic, having exposed flesh adjacent to moving and erratic motor vehicles is not humane. I have ridden many, many horses, cared for many dogs and cats, and in fact dedicate much of my life to helping animals. The carriage horses live in atrocious conditions without enough room for them to lie down after a long day on their feet (I have been inside the stables) work long hours in all weather, wearing heavy bits and bridles and bearing heavy equipment. Yes, it is good for children to be around animals, and girls love horses, as both I and my mother did and still do. I don’t see how watching these suffering creatures will make any child a more compassionate adult. In fact, it will allow them to view the horses as dumb, non-sentient beasts of burden, born for our amusement and to be abused. At least, a girl who hangs out with a boy who mistreats her can leave. The horses cannot.

      • gypsyrose1

        You say you’ve been inside the stables, but that doesn’t jibe with the photos I’ve seen of horses lying down and descriptions I’ve read written by veterinarians and a rescue ranch owner.
        You also don’t seem to be familiar with carriages, and appropriate tack. Maybe it’s heavy for you, but it is nothing to them. In fact, it is less weight than carrying a rider.
        Children who see the carriage horses aren’t looking at a suffering animal. They see a horse that is interested in the people who approach him, hoping for a treat or to be petted. It is a wonderful way to introduce city children to horses they might never have been able to get close to otherwise.
        You have a very skewed understanding of horses for someone who claims to know them so well, but you wouldn’t be the first horse owner I’ve known that was clueless about horses.

      • Kim

        You have an agenda. Maybe you are too close to the industry. I will not respond again.

      • gypsyrose1

        I have no connection to the industry other than that I am a long time horse owner.
        My only “agenda” is to stop the carriage ban because it will be bad for the horses to lose their job, and it will be bad for other horse owners who will find themselves next in the crosshairs of the animal rights agenda.

      • Rosa Borisova

        My only agenda is to make shore no animal is ever abused again! Horses/animals don’t chose to work and become slaves of greed,abuse and tortures! I am not an expert on horses but I don’t have to be one to tell you that horses(any other animal) will prefer to be free. Rather than have a “job”they don’t like nor are paid doing! Unless you are a horse and had the same “job” you can’t say how easy a pulling load for horses is! If it’s to work for food they pretty dumb well know how to feed themselves if given the chance without the need to “work”! I am tired of people using and abusing animals for their own purposes and after get rid of them as unwanted furniture as soon as they become injured or old. The animals have nothing to do with people’s personal problems, needs and issues. Adopting animals from a shelter and saving their life is much more efficient when it comes to”introducing children to animals” and will teach them to respect, appreciate and enjoy eachother’s company too. Please, there is no excuse for carriages in the 21st century…where traffic is fears and pollution nasty. The gases of the cars go right in the horse’s noses all day every day. Add to that the stress,the heat, the rain, the snow, the wind, the freezing temperatures and scorching sun! If you thing that the heavy load is pleasant why don’t you do it your self?Great ,intelligent and compassionate man said this phrase long time ago
        “Ignorance is much worst than evil”- Albert Einstein and who with it’s right mind can disagree?!

      • gypsyrose1

        When you equate work with abuse and animal ownership with slavery, there is no common point of reference for a meaningful discussion.

        Your argument that horses prefer to be free, makes as much sense as saying children would prefer to be free. However, responsible adults know that “being free” requires an ability to be able to care for yourself. There are very few places left in the world where domestic horses can run free and take care of themselves. And, if they could, they would be subject to predators, starvation and dehydration, accidents and disease. “Free” horses don’t die of old age. If horses were capable of understanding the difference between “being free”, risking their lives daily, and having a short life span or being owned, loved, and cared for, they would most likely opt for a little work in exchange for no worries. They aren’t interested in cash. Slavery is a human concept.

        Of course, we can say how easy it is for a horse to pull a carriage. It’s like you pulling a wagon with a child in it. You have no idea how strong a horse is. I do. Even as a newborn, a foal is nearly as strong as an adult human. Once they start to grow, they better have some manners already in place, or someone like you would get seriously hurt handling them.

        You shouldn’t worry so much about the weather. The NYC carriage horses have regulations that require them to be off the streets when it’s too cold or too hot from a human’s point of view. They even have heated and cooled stables. That is a rarity in the horse world. My “country” barn has gotten cold enough to freeze water buckets, and up to 100F in the shade. “Country” air is frequently dusty and in the summer, full of annoying, biting insects. Have you ever had gnats fly into your eyes, ears, nose and mouth? How about horseflies so big they stare back at you when you look at them? Then there are the nasty greenheads and black flies that hurt when they bite. Somehow, it makes living in the city seem a lot nicer place to be a horse.
        I can agree with your quote “Ignorance is much worst (sic) than evil”. And you are the one who is ignorant. You should educate yourself about reality before insisting other people live in your fantasy.

      • Zonorr

        If the ban goes ahead, it MUST be ensured that the horses have homes to go to and will be cared for properly. What is going to happen to these horses once they are retired?? Where will they go? This needs looking at carefully before the ban comes into effect. If they are no longer profitable to their current owners who are also out of work…..I am ALL for the ban but we must be sure the horses who have worked so hard will have a good life after this. Please report back on this.

      • gypsyrose1

        There can be no such assurance. Even good homes can have a change in fortune that necessitates getting rid of horses. The current legitimate rescues are all full of horses in much more need than the carriage horses. If the carriage horses were to be in need of sanctuary, that would mean more horses without a safe place to go. It is an empty promise when NYCLASS says they have homes waiting for the carriage horses. No one involved in rescues saves stall space for potentially jobless horses. It would also be cruel to send the carriage horses into a new situation. The horses are content where they are and with the people they know. Moving to a new location causes stress.
        It bothers me when you talk about the horses “no longer” being “profitable to their current owners”. Most people who have or work with horses do so because they love the animal. (There are always a few bad apples, but that’s true about everything) Having a horse that can pay for his own upkeep makes horse ownership easier, and having one that can earn you a living also is icing on the cake. Why do the activists think it is wrong to turn a profit? The horses are well regulated and not in need of being “saved” from “greedy, abusive” owners.
        To sum up, a ban on the carriages will create a ripple effect of more horses going to slaughter, and more people out of work. The only winner is the real estate developer who wants the property the stable is on. Always follow the money when you want an answer as to why something is being done. It’s true for all situations. It is very rare that anything is done for the reason you are given.

  • Zonorr

    If the ban goes ahead, it MUST be ensured that the horses have homes to go to and will be cared for properly. What is going to happen to these horses once they are retired?? Where will they go? This needs looking at carefully before the ban comes into effect. If they are no longer profitable to their current owners who are also out of work…..I am ALL for the ban but we must be sure the horses who have worked so hard will have a good life after this. Please report back on this, we need to be sure they will be OK.