Animal Rights Activists Calling For Ban Of Horse-Drawn Carriages In NYC


horse-nycAnimal rights activists want horse-drawn carriages to ride off into the sunset. Dozens rallied yesterday at Central Park to protest what they call safety hazards and animal cruelty.

“It really isn’t a safe environment for anybody and we have to use our powers of human empathy to relieve horses of this grinding work,” said assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.

Rosenthal said she feels sick inside when she sees the horses and carriages on the side on the road. “The horses have to work in the heat, in the winter,” she said. “I was looking at them today, their feed was filled with pigeons.”

She said places like Biloxi, Mississippi and Beijing, China have banned horse and carriage rides and because the city council refused to act on the ban, Rosenthal said they will fight for the ban on a state level.

“There is only a few weeks left in the state legislature so we will be building momentum and start fresh in January,” she said.

Rosenthal said it is not a tourist attraction because tourists will come to New York City even if there are no carriage rides.

The stable that operates carriages in Central Park released a statement saying, “We are regularly inspected by the Department of Health, ASPCA and the Department of Consumer Affairs year round. Our horses are the best treated horses in the country.”

What do you think about New York City’s horse-drawn carriages? Let us know in our comments section.

{WCBS TV/ Newscenter}



  2. draft animal that are trained as such and socialized with human partners acutually like to work, and feel “bored” without it. There was also a storm of protest in Joplin, where elephants from the zoo wee brought in for some “extra curricular” activity–hauling heavy trash and ruined vehicles up an embankment. The animal looked like it was enjoying the diversion.

  3. I think it’s time that those EDUCATED about Horses become the ones to make legislation/regulations about them. Not just on lookers who assume the worse, without knowing the real facts. Ask questions , read Horse husbandry books, speak to Horse Veteranarians, Farriers, horse owners,behaviorists. Visit a college that specializes in Equine studies. Do homework first. Then make an EDUCATED decision. EDUCATED is the key word here. Which is terribly lacking!!!!Everyone just jumps on the band wagon of negativity. How many people see my ponies lying down and immediately assume they are sick and I am a horrible person! Sorry, they do lie down! And are ok!! People wake up. Speak of what you know. Get the FACTS first!!don’t just blindly judge.

  4. Stephanie is right, people need to talk to equine vets, horse shorts, and other horse owners as to what really is the facts about horse drawn carriages. Carriage horses work with very little physical effort compared to a race horse, cutting horse, endurance horse, gaming horse, etc. All these sports will leave a horse sweaty and breathing hard ( which is not bad) but carriage horses work at a walk and only break a sweat if it’s weather related and never are catching their breath from the activity. Now let’s get real, how “abusive” can it possibly be? PETA and other ARA activists have singled out the carriage industry to attack and spread lies about because they have a very uninformed public to manipulate and carriages are very visible everywhere. That’s why you don’t see or hear about them running thier mouths at rodeo’s and horse shows. The crowd thier would laugh them out of town because the spectators are mostly other horse owners that know better.

  5. I am just amazed at the level of ignorance displayed and conflicts of interest by those who have already commented on this blog – seems that in their vanity and self importance, they feel that they know everything there is to know about whether the horse-drawn carriage industry should come to an end in NYC. They “know” that no one contacted any equine vets; they “know” that the horses are all drafts; they “know” that the horses are fine. They “know” that the laws are adequate and by deduction, must be enforced. The comments are pathetic and ignorant Check out for further information – not colored by a conflict of interest – i.e. making money off the backs of horses who have no voice and no choice.

    This is a business that exploits horses for profit.

  6. I second what Anne has said. A horse is not a car and should not be in between traffic. They belong in open grassy spaces – not in such an urban, dirty environment where they can’t even lie down which is essential to their health and well being. This industry needs to come to an end.

  7. The planet and the animals were not created for humankind’s greed.
    Were horses created to eat grass? Yes they were and to live free just like every earthling on this planet.
    If we all had more compassion, the world would be a better place.
    EDUCATE yourselves on compassion!!

  8. p.s. forgot to mention that I did educate myself about the horse-drawn carriages and the drivers themselves confirmed that the horses are overworked and exhausted, but the owners couldn’t care less…there’s bucks to made.
    Until the horses collapse just like Jim in QC last July R.I.P.

  9. This is a heinously cruel industry. Many of these animals are doing a second lifetime of work for man. They are out in all sorts of weather extremes with NO enforcement (regardless of what the industry tells you). If they don’t drop dead of exhaustion, illness, or accidents with cars, once they can’t “perform” adequately anymore, they are sold at auction to SLAUGHTERHOUSES, where they die a horrific, tortuous death. Horses don’t belong in NYC traffic, period. Anyone who has done his homework about this industry would know that it violates Tza’ar Ba’alei Chaim, and anyone who defends the industry is perpetuating cruelty.

  10. Putting an animal in the middle of traffic is absolutely ridiculous! I’m sure the fools on here making comments that carriage horses are a good thing wouldn’t want to be in a car when a horse gets spooked and goes crashing through their windshield! Oh yeah, keep talking on your cell phones and texting while driving -that’s a great idea too!

  11. If the public only knew the real story behind the adventures of the carriage and the horse toting a flower atop it’s head. Sitting in the carriage, one cannot see what the horse sees- it’s nose to tail pipes, dodging cars, pedestrians, being spooked by emergency vehicles- NYC is stimulus overload for humans, imagine what it must be like for such a sweet soul as a working horse?

    The horse endure the hot asphalt in the dead of summer -temps rising to almost 200 degrees, empty water troughs and horrible exhaust fumes….It would be like having black lung for us or smoking many packs of cigarettes a day…..In the winter, when the rest of the city shuts down during the blizzard of the century, the horses are forced to work, when all other vehicles are forced off the streets.

    At the end of the day, they must make their way back to the horrific, dismal warehouses that act as stables where they must walk up steep flights of stairs . Once their, they settle in for the night in a cramped space where often times they are unable to turn around.

    These animals suffer for the almighty dollar. While the rest of the world gains speed with technology and progress, why must we still subject these horses to an element of a bygone era that has no place in today’s world. Many cities around the world have already banned this barbaric and mostly unregulated industry. It is time NY stepped up and stood up for these horses.

  12. yes rina, it is cruelty what they do to make money using animals. it is exploitation, and when the horses can’t work they are sold for slaughter. it is as bad as the racehorse industry, and horses have died in midtown.

    if the people who support having horses in midtown would come to see them and just spend one hour watching what they endure they might come to understand. the horses are drinking water out of the gutter and eating from buckets where pigeons have gone to the bathroom. the owners might care about the horses, but only enough to make sure they are making some money off them. if they really cared about the horses no they would not be working pulling carriages in midtown.

    to who thinks it is the animal rights activists who are abusive, im sure you have heard the language that the horse carriage drivers use, hurling all kinds of derogatory insults to the protesters. a nice bunch of people some of those drivers. some of them seem like good people and i hope they can find a job that doesnt require animal abuse.

  13. These poor animals have nothing to prevent the inhalation of bus & car exhaust, getting hit by cars that come too close or pushed to the uneven edges of the street where walking could cause broken limbs. While the horses are working they don’t have adequate access to water. Just because some action has been done for a long period of time doesn’t make it right. As we learn more about the beings we share this world with (or if you prefer, have dominion over), we are responsible for their welfare & to not improve our practices is shameful.

  14. As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I strongly support this ben, based on Judaism’s powerful teachings on compassion for animals. For more information about these teachings, please see my articles in the animals section at

  15. Horse-drawn carriages is an exploitative and inhumane practice, as a matter of fact. Direct evidence speak it out. It is very unfortunate to have to read some backward responses.

    Instead, I suggest you to select YOUR evidence from little less unbiased sources. You’re as credible as Big Tobacco moralising on cancer.

  16. While it is true that there are words which call for kindness to animals in judaism, it is also true that slaughter is allowed, so too is use of animals to fill a human need:

    “Proverbs 12:10 states, “The righteous person regards the life of his or her animal.” In Judaism, one who is unnecessarily cruel to animals cannot be regarded as a righteous individual.” Richard Schwartz, VEGETARIANISM: A SPIRITUAL IMPERATIVE?

    If one reads these words carefully it becomes apparent that one may indeed be cruel to animals and righteous at the same time, provided the need can be justified. The issue surrounding the carriage horses in NYC is a direct result for a dual message of animal compassion. The carriage drivers see themselves as benefitting from the misery of the horses, but justify it as necessary. The issue would be more easily resolved if a more consistent model of animal compassion were the basis for how we treat animals. The model of ahimsa, does not allow for the slaughter or exploitation of animals even to fill a human need. Therefore it is not surprising that carriage horses have been banned in Delhi, India, where ahimsa is the fundamental model of animal compassion.