Jerry thinks the threat of slaughter is a poor excuse for maintaining carriage horses in NYC. The horses would be adopted in no time in the turnover were handled correctly and the owners didn’t have their brains stuck on making a profit off the last remaining breath of their horses.
EXCLUSIVE: Both major mayoral candidates want to ban horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, but the effort to “rescue” the horses could lead to their slaughter instead
There are more than 200 horses used in the city’s carriage industry and their fate remains unknown as mayoral election approaches. It’s possible the animals could be destroyed due to the expensive maintenance.
After protests by animal rights activists, the days of carriage horse rides through Central Park appear to be numbered, but the push to “rescue” the horses could lead to their slaughter instead, experts say.
The top mayoral candidates, Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota, support a bill before the City Council to ban the horse-drawn rides, a move that would throw hundreds of drivers, and more than 200 horses, out of work.
Some experts, however, warn that retiring the horses would add to a “homeless horse” crisis in the U.S., which already sends 90,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico each year.
“We do not have enough rescue space in this country for the horses we have now,” Karen Waite, an equine extension specialist at Michigan State University, told the Daily News.
“To add another 200 to an already overburdened situation is not a good thing. It’s distressing, actually.”
Referring to the activists clamoring to end the carriage rides, Waite added, “Unless these individuals are planning to start a rescue organization for these horses, I think it’s a bit naive to say they will have a place to go.”
Christina Hansen, a carriage driver, agreed. “Horses that have jobs are the last horses that get neglected,” she said. “It’s the horses that don’t have jobs that we’re seeing shipped to slaughter.”
The economics of rescuing so many horses would be daunting.
It costs at least $200 a month to care for one retired horse, experts say, so the tab for sending 200 horses to live out their days in leafy luxury would start at $480,000 a year.
Based on the average age of the horses clip clopping through Central Park, and their life expectancy, the total cost could climb past $8 million over their lifetimes.