Horse and Carriage Flip Over Near Central Park

From Gothamist: “Last night, a carriage horse collapsed—apparently after being spooked by a bus—and now opponents of carriages horses are holding a protest at the scene today at 1 p.m.

According to NYCLASS and PETA, the incident occurred on Central Park South, just west of Fifth Avenue, across from the Plaza Hotel. A tourist sent a photograph and this description to PETA:

“I was in town visiting from Oklahoma when I witnessed one of the worst animal cruelty incidents I have seen in a long time. A bus drove very close to a horse and spooked it (rightfully so, I was also scared of how close the busses were to us). The horse bucked and started to run when its carriage went of the curb and pinned the animal to the ground…

The men (if that’s what we want to call them) proceeded to hold the horse down and save their carriage (yes carriage, not horse) from further damage. One man suggested cutting the carriage and the other said no because it would come out of his pocket (he clearly had one concern, of which the horse was not). To top off the whole event, the men proceed to strap the horse back into harnesses and continue to work even though he was clearly limping and hurt!!!”

The witness also says there’s video, which NYCLASS and PETA are working on getting.

The horse apparently ended up pinned under the carriage and also defecated on himself while still on the ground. Donny Moss, who has been critical of the use of carriage horses and directed Blinders, a documentary about the industry, told us, “Six carriage horses have spooked and crashed in urban areas in the past 10 days. In New York City, the open carriages are driving in the streets with motor vehicles, but the passengers are not wearing helmets or seatbelts. If tourists had been in the carriage when it flipped over last night, they could have been seriously injured. No amount of regulation can prevent a horse from spooking. This is just one of the many reasons why horse-drawn carriages cannot be operated safely or humanely in New York City. We are grateful that Mayor de Blasio understands this and is taking the carriage horses off the streets for good.”

Moss added, “By continuing to support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in midtown, a move for which he will be criticized, the Mayor is putting principle ahead of political expedience. That is the sign of a true public servant and leader, and he will be remembered for it.” De Blasio says he’s committed to ending carriage horses, but isn’t rushing to do so.”

Electric Cars Introduced As Humane Alternative To New York City’s Carriage Horse Industry

BN-CK727_Carria_G_20140417155534New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made banning the horse-and-carriage rides in Central Park an issue in his election campaign, and said last week that he hopes to get them off the street by the end of the year. “Why continue to subject horses to a risky nose-to-tailpipe existence,” a spokeswoman for animal rights group NYCLASS said back in March, ”when there’s a gorgeous, cruelty-free alternative, the electric antique replica horseless carriage?”

Today NYCLASS unveiled a prototype of the proposed carriage: The elegant vintage electric car was designed for NYCLASS by The Creative Workshop (TCW), a car restoration business based in Florida. “We’re confident the vehicle we’ve created is a worthy successor to the original brass-era horseless carriage that roamed the canyons of New York City back in the day,” said TCW’s owner Jason Wenig in a statement. “The Horseless eCarriage celebrates the style and personality of that era.” According to the specs, the carriage can hold 8 passengers, hit a top speed of 30 mph and travel 100 miles on a battery, which takes about six hours to charge.  Although no one has answered the question of how they will replicate the iconic aroma of horse manure on a hot August day.

Carriage Horse Collapses And Dies in Midtown Manhattan

Another Abused Carriage Horse

The ASPCA is conducting an investigation into the death of a carriage horse that collapsed and died Sunday morning on West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue in Midtown. The horse was heading towards Central Park when at around 9:30AM it collapsed.
The death has triggered animal rights activists to condemn the use of carriage horses in the city. The ASPCA said in a statement:

We at the ASPCA express our sadness and concern at this tragic incident. The life of a carriage horse on New York City streets is extremely difficult and life threatening, and the ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting.

Despite claims from the industry that the horses are well cared for animal advocates have repeatedly insisted that such measures are not enough. New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio suggested the city catch up to other major cities and ban the industry.

London, Paris, Las Vegas, Toronto and Beijing  (that’s China) — New York City’s chief rivals for tourism — have all banned horse-drawn carriages in recent years, and with good reason. Our city’s carriage horses work strenuous hours throughout the week and unlike the horses that plied the park a hundred years ago, today’s horses travel on hard asphalt roads that wear down and damage their feet.

Carriage Horse Abuse

Winter weather got you down?  Imagine having to walk around in it all day behind a bus.  Glee actor and PETA supporter Lea Michele is once again showing that she’s got a heart to match her voice by calling for an end to the dangerous horse-drawn carriage industry in new video and print PSAs for PETA. Horses who are forced to pull carriages endure long workdays while exposed to extreme temperatures and dangerous traffic and are often denied adequate rest, water, and food.

Another Carriage Horse Accident Near Central Park

Evidence of Past Accidents

Reports of yet another carriage horse being injured on a New York City Street.  On November 3rd, a New York City bus hit a horse during rush hour. The carriage horse was grazed by the bus on 7th Avenue, at around 54th street, at 5:30 p.m. A witness says the horse “was spooked and evidently frightened out of his/her wits.”   What business does a horse have being in the middle of Manhattan rush hour? legally, none.  Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages says the law is very clear on this: horse-drawn carriages are not allowed between 57th St. and 42nd St., and between 7th and 9th avenues before 11:30 p.m., regardless of whether or not they have a passenger.

It’s time to end this archaic practice that hides behind being somehow “nostalgic” or “quaint”.  We no longer allow dog fights, and NFL quarterback Michael Vick is regularly booed for having sponsored the practice.  But somehow it’s okay for horses to be forced to walk around behind buses during rush hour.  The bus driver, who was at least on a street where he was supposed to be driving, was suspended for not reporting the accident. The carriage driver, on the other hand, has ridden off into the sunset. None of the relevant agencies appear to be looking into the incident, and some of them don’t even seem to know that it happened. How long before some horrific accident takes place that costs some poor New Yorker more than just a suspension.