Monday, June 9, 2008

A Compassionate Visitor to NYC

Carriages romantic? Reconsider
Becky, a horse owner in Kentucky, has been following the plight of New York City's carriage horses. In a comment on The Central Park Blog, she described the way her own horses are cared for: they get ample rest after a short ride, a good cooling down, and plenty of turnout. It paints a picture that is in stark contrast to the lives of the carriage horses, who are warehoused in standing stalls or small box stalls during the precious few hours that they are not hitched to the carriage. Granted, space is at a premium in Manhattan, a situation that exacerbates the problem of the welfare of these horses--most of whom live on upper floors and must climb steep ramps inside the stables. Not to mention the traffic and the creative solutions that some drivers employ, such as U-turns on Central Park South.
"Horse owners in KY have been arrested & charged with animal cruelty for less than they’re doing there," Becky observed in her post on The Central Park Blog. "When I visit Central Park this summer I’m certain I’ll view the carriages much differently - & won’t be paying to get in one."
Do your travel plans include a visit to NYC and a ride in a horse-drawn carriage? Please reconsider, and make sure you have the facts to make an informed decision. A full ban is supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Humane Society of the United States, Friends of Animals, and a large coalition of organizations.
The editor also wishes to recognize the superlative gutlessness of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who could do something about this industry--but won't. Maybe he had his spine removed? Every time he speaks, I am reminded of the famous headline: "Mush From the Wimp."
Photo courtesy of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

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