Soon horse-drawn carriages may well be a thing of the past in New York City. According to Bill deBlasio, mayor-elect, he has been outspoken about getting rid of Central Park’s horses and carriages. In comments during a news conference and as reported on CNN Dec. 30, deBlasio said that horses pulling carriages in urban settings is inhumane.
There are strong opinions about horse-drawn carriages on both sides of the argument. Much has been published on the New York City horse-and-carriage subject, and several stories are referenced below.
One horse-carriage driver since 1987 has publicly stated that allegations of horse abuse are "ridiculous." He believes that the carriage horses lead good lives and have jobs with a purpose. He certainly does not believe the horses are overworked, nor are the animals abused. Some of the horses get five weeks of vacation and others even get up to six months. He feels that giving the horses only paddock time would provide them with no stimulus, no interaction or exercise and they would become less motivated and happy.
De Blasio favors replacing the horse-drawn carriages with electric antique cars driven by the same carriage drivers. He believes tourists would enjoy the cars. Mostly, however, deBlasio feels this is a humane solution on behalf of the horses and would still keep the carriage drivers employed.
Naturally petting a fender is not the same as petting a horse. The horses make the kids smile. On the other hand, the antique cars won’t spook.
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