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.

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allie and morgan

we agree with you. Horses should not be used for this stuff.


Horses have been faithful servants of man for generations. It's just so appalling, shameful and disgraceful how these same humans don't feel the lease bit guilty, or feels any remorse or compassion for these loyal, God given, beautiful, hardworking, innocent animal that have every right to be treated with love, respect and dignity. The thought of living in a world where all you see are desensitized zombies, blinded by their own greed, selfishness and unquenchable thirst for power, truly scares me. We need to stay together, those of us who still have some kind of sanity and compassion. Let’s let New York be the beginning of many other place around the country where Horse Carriage needs to be stopped and still an ongoing practice; New Orleans, south Carolina, just to name a couple.


I completely agree. God gave us animals to be stewards of them. Not to become so money grubbing that we treat them to be a means to an end. I am not opposed to how the Amish still have carriages for their mode of transportation. I just hate the idea of having carriages in big cities like that. I love animals. I can't stand to see them mistreated. But so many companies will do anything if it saves a couple of bucks. So sad.

Mary C.

Oh please. These animals were given to us to work. Animals need a purpose as well as humans. I hate these groups that start out for the good and then push it to a whole new level to the other side. I love animals, I don't want to see them abused, but I think you are going too far on this one. By the way, I have had to put my beloved dog on a diet because I felt like he should have food while he pitifully begged for it. Sometimes our views on things are not seen with 100% vision.

Jonny S

Agree let's do something whilst we are about it regarding the wild mustangs and other horses that are rounded up and sold to the slaughter houses for consumption by humans..give me a break..


What part of "They are not humane." Do you not understand - all of it?


Carriage horse rides should be confined to Central Park only. There are existing rules to ensure the horses' welfare (for example, not allowing them to work in weather that is too hot or too cold, limiting the number of passengers in the carriage, and many more). Keep enforcing the rules. I have spoken to a number of drivers and they tell me what they are allowed and not allowed to do. They need their work and their horses and they are careful to follow the rules. What do you think will happen to the horses if the carriage are stopped? We have only vague promises of providing "care" for them. Wanna bet they will simply go to auction and slaughter for horse meat?


Marianne I agree with you. I feel that if the activity is limted to the park and not on the main streets of the city combined with proper enforcement of the care and work standards for these horses then there should not be a problem. I respect what the organization does but feel at times that they are spending their resources and attention on some things while larger issues should be tackled.


Horses have every right to be treated in a kind and respectful manner. They are God's creatures and they are not to be exploited for profit gain.

Sue K

Mary C you really have some issues - its more than a different of opinion. These animals were not given to us to work, they were born to be free just like the rest of the animals in the world, even your dog. However man/women decided they needed to tame the animals to do work that he/she couldn't. If not for these wonderful animals I just do not think we would have progressed through history as we have without their help & muscle. But there comes a time when the abuse must stop! So what do we do, most of us get together to find ways to stop the "old" way of thinking & use our hearts to find new ways to take care of them. Mary C, I don't know about you, but my animals have taught me what unconditional loves means.