Oppose NYC Carriage Industry Bill

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Originally Posted: 11 December 2009

Oppose NYC Carriage Industry Bill

FROM Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

New York City Residents: Tell your Councilmembers to vote against Intro 653A! This industry-backed bill will cause more suffering for more horses. The vote is scheduled for December 21. Take action now.

If you live outside of New York City, please contact Speaker Christine Quinn.


New York City Councilmembers


REASONS TO OPPOSE THIS BILL – use this as a guide for your phone calls and letters.

  • Rate Increase
    The bill would provide a rate increase to the drivers. Although they have technically not had a raise in 15 years, they cheat on the street by overcharging tourists and charge huge amounts on their web sites - up to $175 for a ride. This is all illegal but the drivers do it with impunity since the oversight agencies look the other way. The Council now wants to reward them for this larceny. They have given themselves their own raise and will most likely continue to charge more on the streets and their web sites whether or not they get this increase. The increase represents a 240% jump over the current rate. No amount will ever be enough and the City should not support and reward fraud.
  • No Improvements
    The Bill seeks to give the drivers a raise but turns its back on the sub standard stables such as West Side Livery on W. 38th St. See this under cover report by Animals' Angels http://www.banhdc.org/animalsangels.pdf . This bill is all about the drivers getting more and the horses getting less. The horses will still work 9 hours a day in heavy traffic, in hot humid weather or freezing cold; they will still come back to small stalls accessed by steep ramps. Although horses need daily turnout, they will not get it under this bill.
  • Unenforceable window dressing:
  • Age at Purchase:
    The bill seeks to pull the proverbial wool over the eyes by pretending to care about the horses. It states that horses must be at least five years old at purchase and no older than 20. But it says nothing about the age at which a horse must retire. It is also very difficult to determine the age of horses so this section is meaningless. Holly Cheever, DVM and equine expert, states that the "old- age cutoff can vary enormously based on the health, genetics and care of the individual horse. Especially when they come through the killer (horse slaughter) sales, the ages of horses tend to be inaccurate. Rarely does a horse for sale have any corroborating papers and tattoos to affirm this age. I would get horses off the street by the age of 20." Within the last year, a working horse at one of the stables died and was listed as 33 years old.
  • Rest for Horses : the bill calls for 35 days of nonconsecutive rest per year for each horse. This is clearly a ruse since horse experts concur that horses (particularly working horses) need daily turnout, which they presently do not get. There is no consideration for the other 330 days the horses where they are confined between the shafts of their carriage for nine hours a day only to return to their stables where there is no opportunity to graze in pastures and socialize with other horses - something so important for herd animals. In addition, there is no way to enforce this part of the bill so it is also meaningless.
  • The City of NY will pay for water for horses, while laying off City workers. We have complained for years that the horses do not have access to year round water in the park. This bill seeks to have the city pay for piping to provide this water. The industry should pay for it. It is irresponsible to support a bill that will incur city expenditures to support a controversial private industry, which should not be subsidized by the city.
  • Bridles and halters required on working horses: but drivers will be allowed to continue to use their cell phones to talk and text , and read newspapers while working; they will still be allowed to make u-turns in heavily congested streets with impunity.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!