NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has directed his administration to move the Central Park location where horse carriages wait for passengers to five boarding areas within the park. While it may seem like a “victory” for those trying to save face, the truth is it’s anything but a win for equines. Here’s why:
● Horses will still be forced out among traffic, on hot pavement with cars and buses speeding by as they will still have to commute—in some cases 20 minutes—from their stables to the park. And they will still be obligated to take passengers on rides on city streets.
● Horses will still be robbed of daily turnout, which is necessary for their health and happiness. Various studies link pasture time to stronger bones, better respiratory health, reduced colic risk and lower stress levels. Turnout gives horses a chance to fill their need for social contact with other horses—such as mutually grooming each other’s backs.
● Moving the area where passengers will board the carriages doesn’t keep them from danger. In fact, more accidents have happened within Central Park and around the city than on the hack line. Of the 103 reported accidents that have occurred since 1982, 19 have occurred near the hack line; 14 inside Central Park and the balance of 70 have happened in other areas.
● The carriages will still make illegal U-turns to access at least two of the new locations off Central Park South. It will be even more difficult to enforce laws, which are already being ignored, in five different locations. And there is little to no shade in any of the new proposed locations.
Horses exploited by the NYC carriage horse industry— who typically work for nine hours straight daily and are unable to flourish in their own way—will never triumph until the industry is banned and they are released to a sanctuary.