On this Valentine's Day, NYCLASS is pleased to amplify the words of a wise, animal-loving girl from Manhattan who wrote a letter to Mayor Eric Adams and the NYC City Council, calling on them to end the cruelty and replace horse carriages in New York. Sometimes an issue is so clear cut, it can best be seen through the compassionate eyes of children," said Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets.
Dear Mayor Adams and the City Council,
My name is XX and I am in fifth grade here in Manhattan. I understand that you are most likely very busy, but I still must inform you about one of the biggest problems in New York City: Central Park carriage horses.
These poor animals have to drag a heavy carriage across the park in the boiling sun or freezing cold. But after all of that, they don’t even get to relax. They are shoved into their tiny, dirty pens. According to the Executive Director of NYCLASS, Edita Birnkrant, “Horses are social ‘herd animals,’ which means that naturally they are meant to be with other horses (herd-mates) and have close relationships with them, like a family. They are denied that need completely in NYC.”
There are no fields for the horses to run around in. In fact many horses have made contact with another horse only once or twice, if at all. Plus, near the beginning of 2020 a 12-year-old horse named Aisha died of exhaustion. I especially find this devastating due to the fact that the average horse lives 25-30 years. Aisha had 13-18 years taken away from her. This is completely inhumane.
Another reason that these horse carriages need to be shut down is because of the way workers control the horses. Most horses used as transportation have tiny metal bits in their mouth, which is why if you go to any riding location that doesn’t abuse horses they will tell you not to yank on the saddle. But in Central Park, the workers couldn’t care less. They yank, hit and poke the horses constantly. Imagine having a metal needle in your mouth on and off every single day. It would not be fun. Many horses get terrible bruises and scrapes due to this abuse and are still forced to work. Not only that, but it’s not safe for us. Horses can get scared by the noise of the city and run into the streets. People and horses would be severely injured if not killed.
I am speaking for all my friends and every animal activist when I say this must be stopped. I only listed half the problems of the carriages. Many animal sanctuaries and farms would love to take in the horses and treat them with actual respect. I don’t think it’s fair that horses have given us transportation for centuries and we can’t even treat them with civility. It would mean a lot to me if you would be able to change this. Thank you for your time.