A moonlit carriage ride through New York City with the one you love snuggled up beside you…sounds romantic right? Well if this is on your bucket list, book your ticket to NYC right now because horse-drawn carriage rides may not be allowed much longer.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has formulated a proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, stating, “They are not humane… It’s over.” But is Mayor de Blasio only doing this for the horses or does he have a hidden agenda? A lot of city space is needed for stables to house the horses and give them adequate space during their resting periods. If the ban of horse-drawn carriages is passed the horses will be required to leave the city and retire to adopted homes or horse sanctuaries. That means the stable space will no longer be used and will be available for new real estate.
So let’s think about the horses for a moment. These horse-drawn carriages are are strictly regulated. by the NYC Administrative Code and the New York State Agriculture and Market Law. There are rules on how long the horses can work, the outdoor temperature, the stable temperature, where and when they can work, veterinary inspections, and much more. These horses might not be able to graze on pasture but they are given feed and forage in the stables. While the horses are pulling the carriages they are staying physically fit, and the constant human interaction is also keeping them mentally fit.
Animal rights activists are using myths and misinformation– saying the horses are in frequent accidents with cars on the busy streets of Manhattan. The truth is there have only been three accidents in thirty years in which a horse has been killed. That is not a bad track record, if these horses roamed in pastures over those thirty years there could have been more deaths from natural environmental causes.
Now let’s think about the carriage drivers. Currently there are 68 carriage companies with medallions in NYC. If this proposal is passed all of the carriage drivers operating under these medallions will be out of work. The horse-drawn carriage drivers are seeking help from The Calvary Group, a lobbying firm that advocates against animal rights groups. The drivers are also concerned with their horses being taken from them. If the proposal is passed the horses will have to be placed outside of the city in adopted homes or animal sanctuaries and become yard ornaments. This means no job and no horse for the carriage drivers in NYC.
Animal rights activists are becoming very vocal in this debate. They want the animals to be sent out of the city. In my opinion they are doing more and more to ensure that we can no longer own animals. If they had it their way all animals would roam free and would never be allowed in a fence or a pen. But the reality is, the world has changed immensely since the days when animals roamed free on the plains. Humans now live in animals’ natural habitat. Animals have become dependent on us and there is not enough land for us to turn all captive animals out into “the wild” to live on their own without our help. The NYC horses should stay because they are under strict regulations, well cared for and bring smiles to many city faces every day.
There’s certainly nothing more quintessential “New York” than a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride, and it would be a shame to see a fixture of New York “put out to pasture” simply because animal rights activists have made carriages their latest target.