Source: New York Daily News
End of the line (Marcus Santos)
BY Elizabeth Forel, President of Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
Regardless of how many Council members say they are tired of it or how much the media mocks it, animal rights advocates’ fight to free these horses from this inhumane duty on city streets is here to stay. Last month, a carriage overturned near Central Park, dragging the horse with it — confirming the flimsiness and danger of these conveyances. (Fortunately, no one was injured.)
Recognition of animal cruelty is the issue of the 21st century. Barcelona recently announced it will ban horse-drawn carriages; so did Guadalajara. Montreal’s mayor supports shutting down the industry there. Even Rome is considering electric carriage replacements.
When de Blasio ran for election in 2013, his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages was front and center. After a fierce backlash, that didn’t happen, and the humans who profit off animal suffering now think it never will.
De Blasio has won another, and a final, four years; he doesn’t have to worry about reelection. It’s time again to talk about the horses again.
Those who operate carriages insist, as they did before, that the animals are happy, and that all regulations are strictly enforced.
That’s just not true.
Weather restrictions are generally followed, but beyond that, few are. These rules bar, among other things, overloading carriages to leaving horses unattended and untethered while the drivers look for business — a serious safety issue because of the nervous nature of horse, which can spook at the slightest provocation, injuring or killing himself or passersby.
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Forel is president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.