A New York City Council bill rejected by Friends of Animals in 2016 because of its failure to ban the industry outright and sufficiently protect the carriage horses may possibly be revived for a vote.

More than 200 horses remain trapped in NYC’s dangerous and cruel horse-drawn carriage industry. These horses are mentally and physically tasked with long-shifts pulling carriages, often for nine hours straight. When not working, they are confined to their stalls in warehouse conditions, with little to no access to areas where they can spend time roaming free and socializing. Making their lives even more difficult is a regulatory system that lacks sufficient monitoring and reporting to assure that these horses are given even the minimum care and respect that is required by law. 

NYClass is urging its members to request that City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito bring the bill, #573, to the floor for a vote before the end of its session in December.

But the bill has many flaws, including insufficient protections — such as a lack of an enforceable end-of-service plan — to ensure that horses are provided a humane retirement and don’t get sold to unscrupulous pass-through buyers that could lead to the horses being slaughtered.

The bill also doesn’t allow for the working horses to roam freely and exercise outside of a short furlough of time each year nor does it provide sufficient stall space for the horses and requires a stable in Central Park whose lands should not serve as a home to the industry.

New York’s carriage horses deserve better than this. They deserve to be free of this dangerous and archaic trade.