Why Should New Yorkers Support A Ban of Horse-Drawn Carriages?
Friends of Animals is committed to enacting legislation to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City and to obtaining sanctuary for the over 200 horses enslaved within this industry. We work closely with legislators, and facilitate rallies, media events, press conferences, and public education to make this a reality.
Historic New York State legislation was introduced, in the Spring of 2011, into the New York Senate and Assembly to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC. Friends of Animals is pressing to pass this ban bill on the state level. Our international efforts extend to ending the use of horse-drawn vehicles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Victoria, Canada, and other cities as well. Why?
1. Exploitative Industry
In order to generate a profit and provide short-term entertainment for tourists, the horses are forced to work on hard pavement in dangerous, unhealthful and unnatural conditions, in all manner of extreme weather, confined between carriage shafts and then inadequate warehouse stalls. This is an inherent injustice to horses, who evolved as social (herd) animals, and who are naturally meant to socialize with other animals and run free. An existence as a carriage horse necessarily means one that is psychologically and physically unhealthy for a horse.
Horses are sometimes sent to the “killer buyer” auctions when they can no longer make a profit for their owners. Horse meat is consumed in other countries, and used-up horses are at risk of being trucked from the United States to Canada and Mexico to slaughterhouses when they are no longer deemed valuable to their owners.
2. Public Safety
Blinders cannot erase the relentless stimuli that horses endure on city streets. Horses instinctively bolt when frightened. Horses in chaotic urban environments alongside swerving vehicles, blaring horns, constant noises, and crowds of people is a recipe for disaster and a public safety hazard to people in vehicles, pedestrians and bike-riders. In the past several years, New York City has seen several horrific accidents resulting from horses “spooking” on the street, running out of control in heavy traffic and colliding with cars. In the past five years three horses have died as a result of accidents, and there have been people injured as well, some seriously. More accidents are inevitable, so getting horses off the streets as soon as possible means a safer city for all.
3. Current or Modified Regulations Will Not Solve the Problem.
For decades, horse advocates have fought to improve conditions for the horses, but little has changed, and the regulations that already do exist are inadequately enforced. The time has come to put an end this degrading practice. No amount of regulations or rules can change the fact that the life of a carriage horse entails a lifetime of drudgery.
Proposed Legislation: Historic New York State Legislation
New York State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and New York Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) introduced legislation for the first time into the Senate and Assembly (S.5013/A.7748) calling for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City. These companion bills are currently pending in the state legislature, and would amend New York City’s administrative code to prohibit horse-drawn cabs. Within them are provisions to prevent current carriage horses from being sold off to killer buyers.
4. Aren’t Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides A Romantic Tradition?
Horse-drawn carriages are a dangerous, unethical tradition that relies on exploitation and one that is completely unnecessary in the 21st century. This is the antithesis of romance.
5. What Will Happen to the Horses When the Proposed Ban is Implemented?
As part of the proposed legislation, all of the horses will be placed in sanctuaries. This is urgent. The current New York City law has not prevented horses from being offered for sale to killer buyer auctions, through which horses are sold for their flesh in order to generate a profit once they are no longer able to pull carriages. In July 2010, Friends of Animals helped facilitate the rescue and transport of a NYC carriage horse named Bobby from one of these slaughter auctions in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Bobby now lives at an equine sanctuary in Chatham, New York. It is impossible to rescue every horse, and this vicious cycle of exploitation and death is happening right now and will continue as long as the horse-drawn carriage industry operates.
What You Can Do
Boycott the Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry. Support ethical entertainment that does not rely on animal exploitation. Pedicab rides are a wonderful alternative that already exist in NYC to give tours through Central Park.
Please let your family and friends know the reasons to avoid horse-drawn carriage rides. You can request copies of this flyer to spread the message.
New York State residents should contact their State Senators and Assembly Members and ask them to sign on in support as sponsors of Senate Bill S5013, the Bill to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in NYC, introduced by Senator Tony Avella, and Assembly Bill A7748, the Bill to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in NYC, introduced by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. Please make certain to state the correct bill numbers and to state the name of each legislator, Senator Tony Avella, and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. You can reach the NYS Senate Operator at 518.455.2800. You can reach the NYS Assembly Operator at 518.455.4100. It’s helpful to communicate detailed reasons why you strongly support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and why you are urging your state representative to support the bill, and this pamphlet outlines important reasons.
If you are not a New York State resident your power as a potential tourist to New York wields much power to politicians, and we ask you to please make four calls, two to the New York Senate Committee Chair, and two to the New York Assembly Committee Chair, to both their local District and Albany office. The bills are currently in the Cities Committee in both the Senate and Assembly. Explain to each lawmaker that as a tourist, you would never take a horse-drawn carriage ride for all the reasons detailed in this pamphlet, and ask them to help make New York state more progressive by supporting the bill that would gain freedom for New York City’s exploited horses. Be sure to tell each person you speak with where you live. Hearing from people from all over the country and the world will have a huge impact on these decision makers. Contact info:
Senate: Senator Andrew J. Lanza: District Office, 718.984.4073; Albany Office, 518.455.3215. Be sure to tell Senator Lanza that you support Bill S5013, introduced by Senator Tony Avella.
Assembly: Assemblymember Carl E. Heastie: District Office, 718.654.6539; Albany Office, 418.455.4800. Be sure to tell Assemblymember Heastie that you support Bill A7748, introduced by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.
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Friends of Animals is an international, non-profit, animal-advocacy organization, incorporated in the state of New York in 1957. We work to cultivate a respectful view of non-human animals, free-living and domestic. Our goal is to free animals from cruelty and institutionalized exploitation around the world.
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