What else do NYC Common Council members and the mayor need to see before finally doing the right thing and banning the carriage horse industry?
We at Friends of Animals certainly can’t unsee the video of a carriage horse’s motionless body lying on the street last night after it was so spooked that it jumped into a car, crashing through a rear window, according to police from the Midtown North Precinct. It was the horse’s first day as a carriage horse.
Police report that the horse—they don’t know if it’s a mare or a gelding, just that its number is #4383—is alive but suffered lacerations to its legs and chest. The horse belongs to Clinton Park Stable LLC.
The photos of the aftermath of the crash were also disturbing, showing large splotches of blood on the sidewalk. The shafts of the damaged carriage were also coated in blood.
NYC should be embarrassed and ashamed to be so out of step with a global movement to ban urban carriage horses. U.S. cities such as Asheville, Chicago, Key West, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City understand that horses are prey animals and prone to spooking.
Therefore, dense traffic, exhaust fumes, street construction and honking horns, and taxis and buses speeding by, is no place for them.
Adding insult to injury, NYC carriage horses are robbed of daily turnout. 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 mutual grooming.
If cities in Mexico, Germany, and the Dominican Republic, to mention a few, can replace horse-drawn carriages with electric ones, NYC can too.
The city owes it to all the horses who have died or been injured while exploited there, including #4383, who by the way, is so much more than a number.
Horses are a socially sophisticated species—they can read human emotions. They can also suffer so much emotional and mental trauma they are left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a hormonal reaction to a traumatic event that lasts longer than 30 days.
We can only hope that #4383 makes a full recovery, physically and emotionally. And never again has to haul tourists through NYC streets.