We here at the Animal Blawg have written many a post on New York City’s horse drawn carriages- evidence here, here, and here. However, the issue has never been more prevalent than it is currently, due to the unfortunate death of Charlie- one of the city’s carriage horses on October 14th. According to preliminary necropsy results, at the time of his death Charlie was “suffering from a pronounced, chronic ulceration of the stomach and a fractured tooth.” A representative of the ASPCA, the organization that performed the necropsy, stated that such maladies likely meant that Charlie was in severe pain prior to his death.
As a result of Charlie’s death, numerous organizations and individuals have called for an end to the carriage horse industry. However, in response to this outcry Mayor Bloomberg declared his support for the industry, which he claims contributes huge amounts of money to the city. Bloomberg also stated that the horses should be considered lucky, because most wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for this “job.”
I respectfully disagree with Mayor Bloomberg’s statement, namely because there are other options for transportation of tourists around NYC’s Central Park- including a faux-vintage electric car (which would supposedly preserve carriage industry jobs, and increase the industry’s revenue). Currently the electric car is supported by Introduction 86, a bill before the NYC Council, which calls for the phase-out of horse-drawn carriages and the introduction of the electric cars. However, it is unlikely that Introduction 86 will be passed without more support. This is particularly true due to the fact that last April the Council passed another bill concerning carriage horses which mandates that horses are given a stall large enough to turn around in, as well as 5 weeks of vacation a year (note that for the other 47 weeks a year, the horses can be made to work 63 hours a week).
For those interested in showing their support for Introduction 86, information on Council Members to call may be found here.
***Please note that the horse in this picture is not a carriage horse and is instead a very happy horse.
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