Carriage Horse Controversy Extends Beyond New York City

The ordinance that would ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City has not yet reached the city council.
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While a high-profile ordinance that would ban the use of horse-drawn carriages in New York City has not yet reached the city council, the proposed legislation has drawn criticism from carriage operators as well as from a veterinarian who believes such a ban is not necessarily in the horses’ best interest.

Last year, Allie Feldman, executive director of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), called for a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages on grounds that the carriages were inhumane. At that time, she said 16 members of the New York City council would support an ordinance that would replace horse-drawn cabs with electric vintage replica cars. In January, newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said he would back any legislation that would ban the operation of horse-drawn carriages in the city. However, Feldman said that, so far, no legislation has reached the members of the New York City council.

“We haven’t introduced a bill and we haven’t even named a sponsor yet," said Feldman.

Meanwhile, horse carriage owners and operators oppose such legislation on grounds that their industry is already heavily regulated, and their horses are well-protected under a current law. Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York and a 30-year owner/operator of horse-drawn carriages in the city, said an ordinance passed in 2010 gives carriage horses at least five weeks of vacation each year, bigger stalls, and quality veterinary and farrier care

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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