Stop Horse Drawn CarriagesThe Top 16 Reasons why NYC Should ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
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Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
August 2016

subway ad
Subway ad from August 2016

1. NYC is one of the most traffic congested cities in the world. Slow moving horse-drawn carriages are a danger to themselves and to others and often get in the way of emergency vehicles.

2. These horses weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds. Approximately half are draft breeds but many are break-downs from the race track. They are prey animals and can be startled at the slightest provocation, bolting into traffic, causing injury or death to themselves or anyone who is near. They become unwitting weapons.

3. There have been many accidents - some ending in the death of the horse. Many other accidents are heard about through word of mouth and photos taken by passersby.

4. The horses live in multi storied stables on the far west side of Manhattan and most stalls are on the 2nd floor. They are fire traps with only one means of egress. Horses reach the upper floors by ramps, which is hard on older arthritic horses.

5. By law, horses are allowed to work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although they are supposed to get a 15 minute break every 2 hours, there is no way to enforce it. They are stuck between the shafts of their carriage and are unable to even scratch an itch. When they are unencumbered by these shackles, horses can back into a tree or fence to relieve an itch.

6. The horses get no turnout to pasture. Experts advise turnout every day or at least every few days. By law the horses are supposed to get five weeks “vacation” a year. It is not only unenforceable, but for the other 47 weeks, they live a barren and sterile existence.

7. By law, stalls are to be a minimum of 60 sq. ft. This is less than one half what experts recommend, which is 144 sq. ft. for standardbreds and 196 sq. ft. for larger draft breeds. It is impossible to lie down comfortably in such small stalls.

8. Horses are often seen eating their grain off the street, which is thrown there and can be mixed with dirt and glass. In the winter, only one water trough operates in Central Park and there are no water troughs in Times Square where they work at night until 3:00 AM.

9. Horses may not work when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or 18 degrees. There is no consideration for humidity or wind chill. If the temperature is 89 degrees and humidity makes it feel like 99, the horses may still work. The only thermometer that can be used to determine temperature is held by the ASPCA officers who are not always available. When the ASPCA does suspend the carriages - it is only until the temperature drops or increases depending on the time of year. The drivers may return. However, there is no provision in the law for how to end a suspension and the drivers come back to Central Park at will.

10. Many of the laws governing this industry are not enforced. The NYPD looks the other way and defers to the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division, which is often not available.

11. There are no records for horses sold outside NYC and it is highly possible many go on to the slaughter auctions. Between 60-70 horses are unaccounted for each year.

12. Horses working in automobile traffic lanes are constantly positioned on their carriages working nose-to-tailpipe and show corresponding respiratory impairment caused by sucking up exhaust fumes.

13. Horses spend all their time outside walking with steel shoes on asphalt, which is an unnaturally hard concussive surface and contributes to lameness.

14, Asphalt becomes very hot in the summer months and there is no shade on the hack line causing horses to overheat.

15. For their entire life in this industry, NYC carriage horses do not have the opportunity to perform natural movements or experience normal socialization, so necessary for herd animals.

16. We love horses but we would not be honest if we did not include this consideration in our list. The unbearable stench. The stench of horses’ urine and feces contaminate the area. It is worse during the summer when the smell is overpowering. Horse urine permeates the pavement and is the cause of the strong, unpleasant smell – something you will not find at a well-kept farm. The horses themselves have an unpleasant odor, suggesting that it comes from bad housekeeping in their stable The excrement smell from their stall goes into their hair. Like cat fur and human hair, the smells are absorbed into their hide. There are restaurants on Central Park South with outdoor seating. This cannot be pleasant.

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