New York City’s strange political brawl over carriage horses

Central Park Horse Drawn Carriages






Stephen Nislick’s philanthropic motives may or may not be real (the real estate in this issue is worth a great deal of money), but the carriage horses effected are. ~ HfH

From: Politico
By: Elizabeth Titus

A model of the faux-vintage electric car that horse advocates say could replace carriage horses in New York, with Ed Sayres, left, and Steve Nislick of NY-Class, the group that sponsors the cars - NY Times

A model of the faux-vintage electric car that horse advocates say could replace carriage horses in New York, with Ed Sayres, left, and Steve Nislick of NY-Class, the group that sponsors the cars – NY Times

NEW YORK — A political battle is raging here over an iconic mode of transportation you might have used if you visited the city this winter: not the subway or yellow cabs, but Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages.

The fight centers on whether to ban the carriages out of concern for the horses’ welfare. But it has the trappings of a good old-fashioned political brawl: a well-funded network of activists, a powerful union, ambitious mayoral candidates and prime Manhattan real estate.

The strife has been building for a few years, and animal rights activists claimed a major victory in November when their ally, Democrat Bill de Blasio, won the mayoral election, thanks in part to the activists’ attacks on his primary opponent, Christine Quinn.

It’s unclear how aggressively de Blasio will pursue the carriage ban once he takes office in the new year. For now, the activists, aided by a deep-pocketed developer, are vowing to keep up the fight. But with their livelihoods potentially on the line, the carriage drivers aren’t backing down. And they’re getting some powerful backup from the Teamsters union, a political force in labor-friendly New York.

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AUTHOR: Posted by Habitat for Horses Calaway
1 Comment
  • karen

    The drivers “love” their horses? What sort of horse lover subjects their horse to 9 hour days of NYC traffic?

    As far as the carriage horses heading to the glue factory, that is ridiculous. If I lived within 200 miles of NYC I would adopt one of those horses in a nanosecond. I am certain I speak for many real horse lovers who don’t think of their horses as something to make money with.

    December 27, 2013