Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal
Nearly three weeks ago, a carriage horse named Charlie suddenly died on the streets of New York City. Just days after, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg dismissed the issue, rejecting animal activists’ calls to ban the city’s horse-drawn carriages. Shockingly, two more NYC horses have fallen since Charlie’s demise. So we are forced to ask: how many carriage horses must collapse in the city streets before a ban is finally put into effect?
One less-publicized incident occurred just hours after Charlie’s vigil on October 28. As two tourists walked by the carriage horse hack line on Central Park South, they witnessed a carriage horse spook and charge into traffic. The horse ran frantically through the streets, leading an empty carriage into oncoming traffic before crashing in Central Park.
One onlooker claims the horse tried to turn into the 7th Avenue entrance, but skid, hit the curb, and flipped with the carriage, thus falling to the ground and becoming tangled in the harness. Fortunately, this horse survived. Soon after, the couple notified the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages who in turn contacted New York Senator Tony Avella—once again prompting renewed calls to ban the carriage horse industry.
President of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages Elizabeth Forel said, “We suspect there are many more accidents like this that get covered up and not reported. Horses are prey animals and nervous, by their very nature. Running from what he perceived to be a danger, he became an unwitting weapon as he tore into traffic. It is fortunate that he did not get killed or kill anyone in his panicked flight.”
Just last week, yet another carriage horse collapsed in NYC. Though it is not fully clear what happened to cause the fall, fortunately the horse got back on his feet approximately 15 minutes later. The caretaker claims the horse simply tripped and fell, while another source says he became entangled in his harness. The horse was immediately suspended and could not return to work until a veterinary exam was completed. The video below was taken by a woman who witnessed the scary event.
Luckily, both of these horses survived. However, even with horses collapsing in the street and the tragic death of Charlie, NYC lawmakers like Bloomberg refuse to admit that horses are not suited to work in these conditions. Sign the petition to ask the New York Senate to pass a bill banning horse drawn carriages here. For those of you who live outside of the US, you can sign this petition to ban the carriage horse industry.
The Wall Street Journal asked: “Should New York City ban horse-drawn carriages?” and 76 percent of their readers answered yes. We want to know where you stand.