Central Park’s Carriages Saved This Horse
This article gives a description of what happens to a horse in a slaughterhouse, beyond what the public would want to conceive of. So, a warning… this could be disturbing to some. And to be honest, we are not absolutely certain that would have been the fate of the NYC Carriage horses. But it is the fate of around 300 horse A DAY, healthy horses that are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. ~ HfH
From: The Daily Beast
By: Michael Daly
New York City’s mayor says the carriage horse industry is inhumane, but what about the grim alternative for the animals? Meet Roger, the horse saved from slaughter by a carriage driver.
If properly aimed, the slaughterhouse air gun sends a retractable steel bolt through the horse’s forehead and into its brain, rendering the animal unconscious.
But often the horse is manifestly terrified and liable to pitch its head to and fro as its whole body surges back and forth in a vain attempt to escape. It can become all the more challenging a target as its hooves skitter on a killing floor made slick with blood and other bodily fluids.
In one slaughterhouse sample of 150 horses, 40 percent needed more than one shot, sometimes collapsing only to rise again. One required as many as 10.
The goal is for the animal to be insensible but alive when it is hoisted by a rear leg and the carotid artery and jugular vein are cut. That way, the still beating heart facilitates the draining of the roughly 10 gallons of blood even as it hastens its own end.
The hooves are sawn off, followed by the head, from which the tongue is removed. The hide is peeled away and the carcass is gutted.
Such would have been the fate of nearly all the carriage horses in Central Park were it not for an industry that Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking to ban as inhumane.
Rather than pull carriages through the park with a guarantee of regular days off, five weeks’ vacation, and no work at all when it is too hot or too cold, these horses almost certainly would have been auctioned to “kill buyers.” They then would have been crammed into trucks and shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada, too often without food or water on the rationale that they are just going to die anyway.
De Blasio may be genuinely convinced that it is inherently cruel to have a horse pull a carriage though the tumult of the city, and his view is supported by some veterinarians, as well as animal rights activists, who view it as an onerous form of bondage. The opponents of carriages in Central Park argue that horses are simply not meant for a “nose to tailpipe” existence in the country’s most congested city.