Just like the yellow taxis and the newspaper dispensers on every corner, horse drawn carriages are icons of the New York City streets. However after the events of the past few weeks many organisations including PETA, Rational Animal and NY Class are increasing pressure on the city to take the horses off the streets and put them back where they belong, away from crowded streets, polluted air and cramped conditions.
The news first hit the headlines in late October when a carriage horse named "Charlie" collapsed and died on the street (pictured). The autopsy report indicates that Charlie was not a healthy horse and was suffering from great pain. He specifically had "pronounced chronic ulceration of the stomach and a fractured tooth." Concerns were voiced about how many other horses were in similar conditions.
On October 28, a horse hitched to an empty carriage became spooked and bolted straight into traffic. One witness said that the horse just missed several taxis, then crashed into a curb and fell on his side before running off again, only to become tangled in the broken carriage and harness.
The most recent incident happened during Friday's rush hour when a horse fell down in the middle of the busy street. One person defending the horse's fall said it was due to the change in the weather causing the horse to be more frisky than usual and his leg became caught in the carriage when he bucked. Other witnesses claim the horse collapsed. Regardless of what happened in this incident, the horse was put in an environment where it was not safe.
Celebrities such as Pamela Anderson (click here) and Glee star Lea Michele (see video below) are also prompting NYC to ban horse carriages. NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg believes that carriage horses should stay on the streets of New York stating, "[they] probably wouldn't be alive if they didn't have a job". New York State Senator Tony Avella has renewed his call to ban the barbaric carriage rides, which are a hazard to horses and to public safety. He is generating support for the Intro. Bill 86, which would replace horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly (and horse-friendly) classic cars.
You can contact Mayor Bloomberg (click here) and other New York law makers (click here) to share your opinion.
You can also sign the petition at: http://www.ny-class.org/action/petition
To see footage of the horses night stables, please watch the below video: