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Amazing news, Green Monsters! New York’s carriage horses will no longer have to endure hours of trudging through noisy, polluted streets, because Mayor elect Bill de Blasio has just formally announced his plans to end the horse carriage trade once he takes office in 2014. The carriages look set to be replaced by “Great-Gatsby” style electronic vehicles, designed by Jason Wenig of the Creative Workshop in Florida.

Some groups have expressed their concern that the effort to save the carriage horses may end in their slaughter instead. Karen Waite, an equine extension specialist at Michigan State University, says, “We do not have enough rescue space in the country for the horses we have now. To add another 200 to an already overburdened situation is not a good thing. It’s distressing, actually.”

It is true that over 100,000 U.S. horses are transported to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico every year because rescue organizations are unable to meet their needs, but this distressing situation has been caused entirely by human exploitation of these majestic creatures.

According to NY’s Daily News, many tourists are up in arms about the end of the horse carriage industry, and are rushing to “enjoy (a last carriage ride) before they go away forever.” But the end of the industry will hopefully cause many of these people to ask the pertinent question: why should we assume that horses were put on this Earth to do whatever we want them to do? Why do we imagine that these animals do not have rights of their own?

Carriage driver Thomas Hennessy claims that his horse Billy Bob is well loved and cared for, and says, “This is my career. I won’t go out without a fight … I don’t know what else I would do if I can’t work doing this anymore.”

While Hennessy and his colleagues may indeed have formed a bond with their animals, and genuinely wish to treat them well, the fact remains that forcing them to work on congested NYC streets amid hordes of people is preventing them from living out a natural existence.

Luckily, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets) have strongly committed themselves to ensuring that all former carriage horses will be provided for.

Spokeswoman Allie Feldman says, “We’ll raise whatever’s needed to take care of every single horse.”

She is optimistic that the horses will be successfully rehomed: “It’s very hard to find a home for a pit bull but when something like a golden retriever is up for adoption everybody grabs for it. Well, unfortunately, there are folks who don’t necessarily want to take any old horse but they do want to adopt a New York City carriage horse.”

The organization has already raised almost $26,000 out of its $30,000 goal, so if you want to donate and help them get there, you can do so via this link!

Image source: Jim, the Photographer / Flickr

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107 comments on “NYC Horse Carriages Finally On Their Way Out!”

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Susan
3 Years Ago

The electric car idea had been shown to be not viable, earlier in 2013, so the statement: "The carriages look set to be replaced by “Great-Gatsby” style electronic vehicles, designed by Jason Wenig " show that this article is wrong on that issue. What else did they get wrong? The alleged "dejected horses" are really at rest and half asleep! By Law: NYC horses can only work at temperatures between 18 and 89 degrees. By Law: the horses have 5 weeks of paid vacation each year - outside NYC By Law: they have a Dental Plan By Law: they can only work a 9 hour shift (this includes the time they nap at work, waiting for a fare.) By Law: they have a Health Care Plan By Law: they have a Home to go to at the end of the day How many Americans have these "benefits"? In the stables, they also have equine neighbors to interact with. Ready to sign up for their LifeStyle?


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Candace Ware
3 Years Ago

DeBlasio's claim that he will provide jobs for the people he puts out of business probably alludes to NYCLASS's long-proposed hideous green eyesores, though there are, believe it or not, cheesier substitutes that have been put forth. Regardless, this is perfectly analogous to saying, for example: I'm going to drive out of business all restaurants that serve meat because a handful of loud-mouthed, monied vegangelicals share a delusion that "meat is murder". But don't worry, business owners, we will rent your own building back to you and you can open a vegan restaurant instead. Apparently DeBlasio and his puppet-masters really do consider NYC to be their personal plantation. It's positively ludicrous. It's also incomprehensibly arrogant to dismiss these highly knowledgeable, highly trained equine professionals as plug-and-play widgets that will meekly tolerate the theft of their personal property and this condescending and arbitrary reassignment to driving something else. These are professional horsemen and small business owners. They do not want to drive some idiotic motorized contraption rented to them by the robber barons who stole their business in the first place, nor to be a wage slave rather than the independent small business people they ARE. Of all the mindblowing hubris the anti-carriage crowd displays, this to me is the most galling. What is WRONG with you people? You have truly lost your minds. Even if this incredibly evil ban effort somehow survives the huge court battle that is coming, the freakish cult of animal rights extremists that claims to have homes all lined up for the horses they plan to STEAL will never lay their greasy hands on a single NYC carriage horse. Never, ever. You can take that to the bank. But it's a neat cash cow they've had in the meantime, isn't it! Solicit donations for horses they don't own, under the pretense of arranging homes for the horses after they steal them, and then spend it all to buy Bill DeBlasio the mayor's office. My prediction? There will be no green cars. That plan has been floating around for several years now and the over-priced model the culties worship is showing some wear and tear. It's likely the robber barons never intended to produce the electric jalopies in the first place. At a cost of $125-450K (sources are hilariously divergent in their estimates) to swap out EACH of the 68 carriages, it was no doubt MUCH cheaper just to buy themselves a mayor. Hmmmm, wonder how much is left in the treasure chest for when the time comes to buy themselves a judge?


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Laura Whitesides
3 Years Ago

Wow, I was there a few days ago and was feeling sorry for them as it was so cold. They were just trudging away. I would love to adopt one!!


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Tina Sowicz
3 Years Ago

BEST news ever !!!


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Lisabelle Kottas
3 Years Ago

ABOUT TIME....POOR HORSES


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Carla Lucas
3 Years Ago

Wow ... so the majority are off to slaughter? Damned if you do, damned if you don't :/


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Sara Boyd
3 Years Ago

Lynne Thrower I've been involved in the horse industry for 24 years now as a trainer/instructor/ nutrionist I know a horse when they like their job and when they don't. Because when they don't they won't just like you or me. And of the 7 horses I personally own ALL are ex race horses. Now, let's talk about exploitation.


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Rosalie Contessa
3 Years Ago

Fran, in a perfect world, it would work and I respect your opinion. It just doesn't work in NYC anymore because no one cares about anything but $$$


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Rosalie Contessa
3 Years Ago

It's unnatural for horses to be dodging cabs, and to be forced to work in high temps. They're exploited. A cruel "tradition" it is. And I'm overjoyed that it's over.


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Fran De Nardo
3 Years Ago

Rosalie Contessa no joke no fantasy land. If NYC want to make some money strictly enforce the rules to protect the horses. I live with horses all around me. They are used for recreation, entertainment - racing, transportation, and farming. The vets here take care of all sorts of problems and these horses work in all sorts of weather and among cars and trucks. I can't imagine Central Park without the handsome cabs. Yet another tradition to kill in NYC.


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