Let’s End Carriage Horse Rides in New York City

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 1:30pm
NYC Carriage Horse

By ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker

On December 30, then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio unequivocally reaffirmed his stance against the use of carriage horses in New York City.

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape,” he said. “They are not humane, they are not appropriate for the year 2014. It's over. So, just watch us do it.”

As an organization that’s fought for humane treatment of horses since our founding in 1866, we share the mayor’s philosophy that no economic counter-argument stands up to the sheer ridiculousness of this antiquated tradition. New York simply has a higher standard.

So we’re doing our part by joining the mayor’s call, standing with partners like NYCLASS, and counteracting deep troughs of misinformation with expert veterinary and animal relocation expertise. We stand ready to tap into our network of rescue partners to secure potential homes for the horses— facilities and people willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these animals.

Are there legitimate concerns about lost jobs? Absolutely. We share those concerns and encourage new ideas to address them. But using fear over facts to sway this debate is as irresponsible as suggesting strained carriage horses can be compensated with “vacation time.”

This is a conversation the city needs to have. But it needs to be placed in a context of hard truth, not hyperbolic bias. New Yorkers deserve that. And so do the animals with whom we share the city.

We applaud efforts clearly in motion to take these horses off city streets, pushing both them and New York itself into a more civilized future that need not be feared.

Add new comment




Esther- bless you for your kind words. I agree with you 100%. I live in NYC, and have told the drivers that their "days are numbered. Better look for another job!". They would yell curses at me. I am so proud of our new mayor! Animals are sentient beings and deserve the best life possible. Go Mayor DeBlasio!!!!


The most humane thing that anyone could have done? Ummm, more humane that saving a bus load of babies?

I am firmly against animal abuse/cruelty and therefore am in agreement with what this mayor did. The only reason I commented here is because I wanted to point out that you should choose your words/phrases more wisely because if this is the MOST humane thing that anyone could have ever done I think our planet is in a lot of trouble.


So as a horse owner, I ask the question, what do you do with a horse if you do not use it? They are domesticated animals bred, trained, and raised to do work. If people don't use them, ride them for recreation, competition why would anyone own one and care for it, they’re way too big and expensive to keep as just pets. If then no one uses them, why have them or breed them? It’s not like you can let them run free, the government is currently seeking to get rid of all wild horse herds in the US. Not using an animal like a horse can only cause the need to euthanize them (which is be PETA’s ”humane” approach) and a huge decline in their numbers.


Thank you Rita.

K. Cutillo

Well said Rita!


Thank you Rita.


Boo, Lee! Hurrah, Rita!


I am sooo happy to hear the good news. It would always upset me when I would see the horses in the heat forced to go near the traffic of cars racing by.

Thank you new Mayor 2014! I thank you as well Rita for your response to LEE's comment.


I'm curious to know what will happen to these horses now. Has the city made any solutions for this or did they just decide to end this without thinking it through. I think it's safe to say that some of these horses may now be in danger of heading to slaughter. You should always check all your facts before proceeding with action. Besides aren't the horses, "going green"? What should be done is regulation of the horse carriage industry in NYC instead of sending these horses to their probable death. That is if you really care about their welfare.

stewart parks

My sentiments exactly. What will they do with those magnificent creatures who have served us so very well through the centuries??? We so easily dispose of anything or anybody who hinders progress.