ASPCA Statement on NYC Carriage Horses

April 18, 2014

We believe that the use of carriage horses in 21st century New York City is unnatural, unnecessary, and an undeniable strain on the horses’ quality of life, and in recent years have advocated phasing out their presence in the city. For us, the issue is not about the presence or absence of cruelty as defined by the law; it is about whether or not the activity is humane for the horses. Given the enormous stress and potential danger inherent in navigating city streets in bumper to bumper traffic, it plainly is not. The ASPCA encourages appropriate and humane alternatives which mitigate job losses and preserve the wonder and nostalgia of sightseeing in New York City, and believe the current proposal to replace carriage horses with electric cars is viable and worthy of strong consideration. Should the carriage horse practice come to an end, the ASPCA will gladly get involved – including tapping into our network of rescue partners and resources – to help with any potential transition and to help find and facilitate humane placement options for any horse in need of a home.