Equine Rescue


Source: Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

“Intro 573-A is not in the best interest of the horses,” Dr. Cheever says; asks Mayor de Blasio to reconsider

Here is the full text of the insightful statement from Holly Cheever, DVM, an equine expert who has advised 15 municipalities and 2 states in OPPOSITION TO Intro. 573-A.

10151218_1076683402371526_3650848955117168478_n“January 22, 2016
To: Members of the New York City Council:

I wish to express my concerns about the latest proposal on what to do with your city’s controversial, inherently abusive, and anachronistic carriage horse tourist trade. In addition to being a shocking reneging of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign promises, it seems entirely impractical.

I am an equine veterinarian who has been testifying to this council since 1988 in efforts to get the carriage horses out of their inadequate stabling and their unsafe working environments. I have similarly advised approximately 15 municipalities and two states (Massachusetts and Florida), either to support a ban on such misuse of carriage horses or to promulgate proper regulations in appropriate environments—which New York City most emphatically is not—in order to ensure the well-being of the horses.

The current proposal is to confine the industry to Central Park, to restrict the equine population to a large herd of 75 with 68 operating carriages, and to build appropriate stabling to house this huge population. I confess to being shocked that the Central Park Commission is entertaining this proposal, because of the commission’s long entrenched refusal to give up any space to this enterprise. Although this proposal solves one area of equine misuse by getting them off the streets so that they no longer will share the roadways with crowded vehicular traffic, myriad other problems persist, as follows:

· 75 horses, many of them draft breeds: this would be a huge herd for such a small area as Central Park, and if 68 carriages are to be employed, they will create overcrowding and congestion in Park roadways that seriously impact alternate uses of the Park by its visitors, taking up a disproportionate amount of space that park enthusiasts might want for other purposes

· The odor from such a huge herd and its stabling/paddock areas would offend Park users who come for other purposes, especially in hot and humid weather. Not all city dwellers find “farm” odors appealing

· Housing: does the Park truly want to designate such a large percentage of its acreage to this one industry? The proposed stall size of 100 square feet is not adequate for draft breeds—14 x 14 square feet is the preferred size for these animals. I hope it is obvious that the current system of housing horses on 2nd and 3rd floors is completely unacceptable due to the risks to the horses if ever an evacuation is necessary. Therefore, all stalls must be on the ground floor, necessitating a huge stable area if 75 horses are to be housed humanely and safely. The proposed stable for this huge population will require fire-sprinkler systems, state-of-the-art ventilation systems, grain and hay storage, and waste disposal for enormous volumes of soiled bedding and manure. This cannot help but impact the Park’s multiple uses, and will constitute an extraordinary expense

· Turn-out, i.e. paddocks of adequate size to permit the DAILY opportunity for all horses to leave their restrictive housing for exercise and comfort with compatible herd mates, so essential to equine physiological and psychological well-being. The need for this turn-out is essential, and will commit even more of the Park’s limited acreage to this one malodorous industry

· Although the horses will no longer be threatened by vehicular traffic on their park-limited routes, there is always the risk of spooking with any equine animal, and the Park always has large volumes of visitors who could potentially be severely injured by a runaway horse and carriage, especially since so many of the drivers have historically been proven to be inexpert in proper equine management and capable of poor judgement in handling both the horses and their customers

· Even though the horses will not be as directly exposed to the pollution they inhale in their nose-to-tailpipe life on the streets, please note that even before they were forced out of their confinement to the Park in the early 1980’s (or the medallion-owners would be forced to surrender their medallions,) an unpublished study by Dr. Jeffie Roszel (veterinary pathologist) in 1985 revealed that the horses even then had evidence of lung damage from their exposure to exhaust fumes (personal communication 1989.)

In conclusion, I do not support this proposal as it is not in the best interest of the horses, nor a practical use for an inappropriately large area of the Park. I ask Mayor de Blasio to reconsider his abandonment of his campaign promise in order to pander to the carriage horse industry. We are in the 21st century—time to let this anachronism go!


Holly Cheever, DVM

Member, Leadership Council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

Vice president, NY State Humane Association”

12 replies »

  1. This is what normally referres to as ABUSE.
    The poor horses look EXHSUSTED AND DEPRESSED. TERROR of drivers of automobiles, loud noises, constant walking on CONCRETE. Come on, the horses have feelings too.
    Do you care, or is all about the MIGHTY DOLLAR???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its time to stop. These horses Need a job. WE are fighting /shadowboxing on this issue. Jobs and horses lives are at issue but take the new accommodations and lets see what happens. No we dont accept cruelty but dont send these animals into oblivion. No overworking or abuse but they need some. If they remove carriages completely..then its officer mounts…then private stables….then every horse. Give the inch bc they have moved a mile. These horses are meant to work being drafts and they dont need slaughter risks and just being pastured only unused is bad for them. Yes humane care and yes better environment. Give it chance and see what this change brings. You have the right to disagree but we have to entice people to stay in Our Horse Industry and when we place so many restrictions that rule out horses we are Reducing newcomers who want to rehome horses. Lets take the options and watch how they play out…before they fail we can stop and assess it. Completely wiping it out makes less sense than ever. We are cutting out a group who want to see horses thrive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. How about checking into the proposed shooting of the burros in Mohave County Arizona?
    They want to kill 1000 burros.
    check out the Kingman Daily Miner January 13th edition.


  4. I REALIZE its a thrill to take horse drawn carriage rides, but with that many horses I agree it is not safe to have that many horse drawn carriages. In,Central Park in NYC.
    NOR IS IT SAFE TO BE STACKED 3 HIGH IN STABLES. As stated it is unsafe in all emergency situations.
    I would also think it would be unhealthy not only in the sense of dirty straw from horse pee and manure, what’s to stop it from running down through the floorboards?.
    All horses outside of those ridden by the horse mounted police should be banned inside NYC.
    Take the horses outside the city limits and build a stable to house them and buy property and make lakes and wide roads and let them give horse drawn carriages and the horses a use that every one can prevail from.
    I don’t wish to take people’s jobs away or throw the horses away to KILLBUYERS,and slaughter houses.
    Take it back to the drawing board and work something out for all.


  5. Streets have gotten to busy. Your housing it not adequate. These are God’s Creatures he has put on thevEarth. You will suffer the wrath of God for not making a decision for the best interest of these horses.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. About the Bill for the Horse Drawn Cariages in New York City,: Holly Cheever writes in her letter to Mayor DeBlasio. About ALL the wrong things of the Bill. Oh, she is so 10000 % RIGHT. If only Mayor DeBlassio would and could keep his promise “, Ban the Horse Drawn Cariages “. In New York City. We all know, Horses do not belong in traffic Horses do not. Belong. In a City. Horses do not belong in a Public Park. . We live in the. Year2016 ! Let’s get Civilized.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For pete’s sake STOP ABUSING THSE HORSES! Stop this INHUMANE horse carriage industry now! Horses DO NOT NEED A JOB!!!! Humans need to figure out how to make money without using horses. RETIRE THEM NOW!


  8. STOP ABUSING THESE HORSES AND RETIRE THEM NOW! Horses DO NOT NEED A JOB! Humans need to figure out a way to make money without using horses!


  9. Animals including horses are not here to use for our entertainment or money making at their expense.
    Let the crivers drive cabs, uber cars etc.;HIRSES DO NOT BELONG IN MIDToWN MANHATTAN SO PEOPLE CAN TaKE CUTE BUGGY RIDES.Nothing cute or romantic riding along with traffic and car exhaust.


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