(ANIMAL WELFARE) NEW YORK While a horse-drawn carriage ride through New York City may seem romantic, the tourist attraction has proved dangerous for both people and horses. State Senator Tony Avella hopes to change this with a proposed ban on horse-drawn cabs. Read on about how the horses and the city could benefit from the proposed bill. — Global Animal

Photo credit: Friends Of Animals

Friends Of Animals, Edita Birnkrant

New York City—More than 200 horses are forced to pull carriages and tourists in New York City, but that could be stopped by a bill introduced by New York Senator Tony Avella.

“Senator Avella has taken this initiative to the state level,” said Edita Birnkrant, New York director of Friends of Animals. “We laud this step to make New York City a travel destination with safety and fairness in mind for all.”

Bill S5013 would amend New York City’s administrative code to prohibit horse-drawn cabs. It would also prevent current carriage horses from being sold off to killer buyers.

Last summer, Friends of Animals facilitated the rescue of Bobby, a New York City carriage horse, from a slaughter auction in New Holland, Pennsylvania.

“Advocates can’t spot and rescue every industry-worn horse,” said Birnkrant. “Thank goodness Bobby is safe. But only a ban will end the cycle.”

Senator Tony Avella (D), representing the 11th New York State Senate district, served on the New York City Council until 2009, and supported the effort to ban horse-drawn carriages consistently. The senator worked closely with Friends of Animals to create the landmark ban bill introduced into the Council in 2007.

New Yorkers have seen several horrific accidents involving frightened horses.

In September 2007 a 12-yr old mare named Smoothie, left unattended, bolted; one of her legs became entangled in a carriage wheel as she crashed into a tree, went into shock and died. In 2009, an accident at Central Park ended in hospitalizations of a cab driver and a carriage driver. Motorcyclists and pedestrians have been hit, sustaining bone breaks. Cars have been smashed. Buggies have tumbled. Horses have broken free and run through the streets of Manhattan. From time to time the media announce deaths of horses: Nickels, Spotty, Juliet; the list goes on. A horse called Jackie was shocked to death by an electrical line in the rain.

“Not a single one of these tragedies needed to happen,” said Birnkrant. “New York City is a lovely place for walking. For tourists wanting to take a ride, pedicabs offer tours through Central Park.”

Staff, members and supporters of Friends of Animals work with legislators, hold rallies and press conferences, and offer public outreach and education to stop the practice of using horse-drawn vehicles in several cities in the United States and Canada.

More Friends Of Animals: http://www.friendsofanimals.org/news/2011/may/state-senator-introd.html




  1. I would like to point out some factual errors in this blog.  The Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates rescued Bobby.  I found him at the auction  – and began networking to see who might be able to take him.  Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates agreed and spent hours on the phone locating a hauler since most were not available.   This is where Bobby resides now at their sanctuary.    We asked FoA if they wanted to share in this glorious moment.  The reluctantly agreed to give a few hundred dollars.  To say that they facilitated this rescue is wrong.  Susan has already paid thousands in vet bills and has saved many horses.   

    It is unfortunate that so many of the large “corporate” organizations are so desperate for donations and accolades that they have to exaggerate or lie about accomplishments at the expense of grass roots organizations like ours who do most of the work — or the actual rescue who took him.  To read this blog  – directly from FoA’s press release –  one would be amazed at how much one organization has done – all by themselves.  A Superman organization.  Wow.  and not with one other organization involved.  So impressive.   

    The Coalition has worked with State Senator Tony Avella since 2006 and will be sponsoring a press conference and rally on June 4, 2011 when he and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal will introduce the bill.  June 4th is also Horses Without Carriages International day.  This is an international coalition I cofounded in 2008  – a global effort to ban horse-drawn carriages for tourism.  

    It starts at 12 noon at the north side of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue.  We hope you will join us in this new effort to shut down this very inhumane industry.

    Elizabeth Forel
    Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
    Horses Without Carriages International