To The Editor:
The argument by certain “pro-horse-carriage” individuals that carriage horses “would die” if the carriage industry were banned, is admittedly an entrapping one.
Yet, it seems to me that it can be a matter of the lesser of two evils.
If horses can be properly cared for and not overworked and if the horse owners and carriage drivers can be responsible about keeping away from very dangerous streets and cleaning up after their horses, and putting the health of the animal first (etc), then I don’t see why the horse-drawn carriage industry cannot continue.
However, it seems a short-term vs. long-term argument when it comes to the question of “What Will Happen To The Horses?”
If the horse-drawn carriage industry continues, particularly without the right humane-practice regulations, horses will continue to be bred to pull carriages, and probably a lot of them will end up killed after they no longer can pull a carriage. If certain horses died because the industry was eradicated, then sad as it is, it might have been their fate anyway.
W. 43rd St
Sales records are not required by the Department of Health if a carriage horse is sold outside NYC as most are. Horses can be sent to auction/slaughter with no accountability by the owners. The City and State bills that seek to ban horse-drawn carriages attempt to remedy this and assure that horses are not sent to kill auctions.
NYC has provided lucrative conditions to carriage drivers to earn a living, giving them the opportunity to work in Central Park during the day and in many other tourist areas at night. In return, the owners should be required to be accountable for their horses when they are no longer wanted.
There is a huge turnover of horses in the NYC carriage trade – 529 horses in 7 ½ years. With no accountability for their whereabouts – whether they are considered property or not – this is simply not right.
Elizabeth Forel / President Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
Upper West Side
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