Horses don't belong on the streets of New York | SE Smith | Opinion | The Guardian
The animal rights group that made carriage horses a central focus of the mayoral election has ended its crusade to ban them. NYC should have been the leader in banning horse-drawn carriages altogether. . The Mayor needs to end this ridiculous attack on the NYC Carriage Horses and want to see an end to all human and animal relationships, one law at a time. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Central Park will ban The iconic horse-drawn carriage rides in New York City may be finding a new home. "We are ending horse carriages in New York City," de Blasio said.
The apparent timing of the votes came despite the objections of some Council members, who believed it created an unseemly appearance, and could undermine what they believe is the sound policy of the pay bill, according to several people familiar with the conversations.
The mayor seems almost desperate to complete this carriage deal and move on, but in the process is simply giving his enemies more ammunition to do battle with him.
In the process, he has managed to antagonize park advocates, pedicab workers, and good government advocates.
Horse and Carriage Rides in Central Park
My advice to the mayor is to let this deal die. Central Park is the best managed park in the world and if the people managing the Central Park Conservancy think the plan creates problems for the park, the mayor should pay attention.
The Council Speaker and mayor's attack on the Conservancy for raising questions about the deal was also disappointing. The mayor observed that, "The conservancy provides a lot, but the park belongs to the people, and those decisions are made by the City Council and the mayor.
The Conservancy has quietly worked with parks all over New York City. The Central Park Conservancy knows that parks belong to the people.
Horses don't belong on the streets of New York
They know that elected officials are in charge. Reminding them of this in public was not a proper response to the Conservancy's expert critique of the mayor's poorly-thought-through carriage plan. New York City is America's largest local government. It is a complicated and diverse place and presents its leaders with frequent and profound political and managerial challenges.
The battle over the horse-drawn carriages is damaging the mayor's credibility and leaves him open to attacks on his integrity. It is a distraction from the mayor's real work and the sooner he lets it go, the better. Carriage horses in the city are treated like mechanical objects that can run endlessly, even when they periodically drop dead in the street or spook and collide with vehicles or endanger pedestrians.
Organisations like New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets are agitating against the use of carriage horses and have slowly grown the ranks of their supporters. Campaigns targeting potential customers have been used to reach horse lovers who might consider a carriage ride in Central Park without thinking about the costs. But these measures have apparently been ineffective, because the demand continues, and as long as it does, people will be there with carriages to meet it.
As long as films keep depicting an obligatory carriage ride with the main characters snuggled into the seats, people will continue associated horse-drawn carriages in the city with romance, not animal abuse.
And it's telling that the industry has strongly resisted attempts at welfare measures, like the ban on working carriage horses in extreme heat, because these measures would suggest that the industry is doing something wrong, and not caring for the animals it exploits. It's so eager to turn a profit that it's willing to work horses to death, accepting shortened lifespans and behavioural problems as an inevitable business overhead, instead of an indicator of unacceptably harsh working conditions.
Horses do not belong in the streets of New York City. This is one tradition with a long history that should be allowed to come to rest. Deconstructing the romantic associations with carriage rides should also be a critical part of the messaging to put an end to the practice.
Central Park Horse & Carriage Tour Reservations
Imagine a lead being shocked and appalled that the lovely romantic interest wants to go on a carriage ride, or a romantic picnic in the park interrupted by a terrified carriage horse careening out of control. It doesn't mean the end of carriage breeds; for one thing, most of the really rare and interesting breeds do not work in New York, because they are far too expensive for the industry and too precious for breeders to be willing to surrender them to short, brutal lives in the streets.
At a time when the MTA together with the DOT have been working to solve the continuous traffic congestion problem in Midtown, the presence of horse drawn carriages will continue to exacerbate the problem. They will also continue to walk through heavy vehicular traffic on their way to and from Central Park. I am in favor of anything that might help the horses, so while moving the hack line into the park is better than leaving it on the street among motor vehicles, I am asking the DOT to consider going further with a rule banning the carriages from all New York City Streets.
I have been a resident of the West 72 street neighborhood since I have seen the park entrance at West 72nd street get more and more crowded. It has become increasingly more difficult for seniors to navigate the area. With the possibility of horse and buggies coming to the area it will be prohibitive to access the area for people with limited physical abilities. For many people it is the closest entrance to the park, and with this new proposal it will cut off the park entirely.
Please do not let this proposal pass! I am highly in favor of the proposed rule to move the hack line of carriage horses from Central Park South to inside the park. It is a safety hazard for horses and people to have them on such a busy street.
Come on Mr. Mayor, Leave the Central Park Carriage Horses Alone
This is a no-brainer. Horses do not belong on the street--they should have at least some protection inside the park. I am a professor at NYU in the philosophy department, and one of my areas of interest is animal ethics. I am speaking in support of the proposed rule changes.
- Horse and Carriage Rides
- Horse & Carriage Tours
- Here's What's Missing in the Debate Over Central Park's Horses and Carriages
I want to make two brief points. The first is a point about what sort of considerations should be given the most weight in deciding the question whether to approve the proposed plan or not.
I want to stress that the issue before us is primarily an ethical issue, and, as such, ethical considerations should be paramount in our thinking about it. The main ethical consideration in play concerns the welfare of the horses. In this online comments section, in arguing against the proposal, several people have appealed to the business interests of the horse cab drivers and of the tourism industry, as well as to the tradition of horse carriage riding in Central Park.
But those are not ethical considerations, or, at least, insofar as they are ethically relevant, they are far outweighed by the welfare interests of the horses. Let me give a brief analogy. Suppose there is a foreign country in which the tourism industry and the business interests of a group of people depends on the exploitation of an underprivileged class, e. If, in response to a challenge of these exploitative practices, the government of this country were to reply that the practices are part of a long tradition, and that the business interests of the tourist industry and of the people running the establishments in question depend on it, we would not regard this as a satisfactory response or justification, precisely because those considerations are not ethically relevant or not ethically weighty.