Our campaign is dedicated to banning the inhumane, unsafe, anachronistic and hack line
horse-drawn carriage trade in NYC and elsewhere.
We need a total ban, not a "compromise" that will doom the horses to a life of misery.
Please donate to our campaign.
We do not need much money since we do this proudly for free - it is a labor of love and compassion - but we could use help with flyers, posters, this newsletter and our website. We also donate to equine rescues and to groups in other cities that want to make a difference. We strongly feel that we are all in this together. You will always get the truth here because we have no conflicts of interest and do not have to genuflect to anyone - either because of business or political dealings. With our years of experience with this issue going back to the 1990s, we are not hesitant to speak out. Thanks to all of you who have donated. It is very much appreciated.
TRUTH not POLITICS!
Greetings from New York City.
Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Spring.
WHY CONTINUE? I am sure some people wonder why we continue with this campaign - i.e.our belief that shutting down the horse-drawn carriage trade is the only humane and ethical answer. They often mistakenly believe that asking for more regulations will somehow work. They say this with absolutely nothing to substantiate this claim. They think it is easier than asking for a ban. It is not.
There are many similarities between the carriage trades in cities around the world. They often appear to be entrenched and a tourist attraction. They are generally left alone by authorities because the existing regulations are unenforceable unless they hire specific law enforcement agents to oversee the carriage trade. That is not about to happen anyplace.
WHAT IS AN ACTIVIST? An Activist is a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change. They do what it takes to get the job done. But some so-called activists give up. They show up for demonstrations for a while, then tire and move on to other things. They never bother calling their elected representatives or writing letters to newspapers. They never offer to do any of the grunt work. They want a new experience so they move on.
The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages has not given up. We no longer have demonstrations because they did not work. There is no bill in the Council to promote. We keep up our Facebook page
and are biding our time.
We witnessed how getting more regulations eventually backfired in the late 1980s and early 1990s in New York City. This is our history and we need to learn from it. Organizations that ask for more regulations do not understand that even if they passed, which is unlikely, it would be in name only because they would not be enforced.
REGULATIONS FAVORED BY THE TRADE: Since that period, the only regulatory laws passed were developed by and favored the carriage trade. For example, the size of stalls was increased from 48 sq. ft to 60 sq. ft. - still much too small (should be at least 144 sq. ft. but preferably 196 sq. ft.) This was lauded as a big victory in the non-questioning media. The horses still do not get turnout to pasture because the space for it does not exist. They still work on hot humid days for long hours. They still overload their carriages; still make illegal u-turns and still leave their horses dangerously unattended and untethered. The Authorities let the drivers get away with these infractions.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY: The carriage drivers want you to believe that there is nothing wrong with what they do so there is no reason to change anything. Adding clauses to reduce the hours worked or a humidity index would mean less income. For several years now, they managed to get the majority of newspapers in NYC to back them. President Trump unfairly calls all media he does not like "fake news." But the original fake news was started by the NY Daily News with their support of the carriage trade and their daily outrageous lies. They continued to claim that the drivers had "good union jobs" when nothing was further from the truth. Most of the drivers did not even belong to the union and those who did never got any benefits. The refuse to reconsider their position.
The City Council and Mayor operate without a backbone and prefer to keep the status quo. To do otherwise might make the unions campaign against them in their next election. Don't rock the boat is their mantra.
THE FUTURE IS SOON: We strongly believe the days are numbered for horse-drawn carriage businesses in urban areas. When the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan (home of the four stables) is fully developed with new high-end office buildings and residences, the carriage trade will not be welcome. It negatively affects traffic; is dangerous and unsanitary. The owners of several of the stables are aging and might well want to sell and get out of the business. Drivers will be without jobs.
One would think that someone in this group would be smart enough to realize that and to look to create a new lucrative tourism business.
SO HOW DO YOU FIGHT THIS? For starters, if you do not ask for much, you will get less than nothing if anything at all. An activist's job is to make substantial changes for the better not to get enmeshed with the status quo. This means to continue fighting the good fight. Propping up an immoral business is wrong.
We have accomplished a lot by sticking to our principles. We started our campaign in 2006 to shut down the industry. We put it on the map; got the first "ban horse-drawn carriages bill" introduced in the City Council; got the Comptroller to do the first ever audit of the oversight of the Department of Health and the Department of Consumer Affairs. While NYC has not banned the industry, the issue is out there - and for now that is all we can hope for. But since that time there have been many, many cities that started campaigns. And some have actually shut down the industries in their cities.
These struggles take a long time - they never happen overnight. Activists stand strong
and do not give up. And they certainly don't sell out the horse for a quick, but empty win.
For now, we are not asking you to do anything except spread the word and share our posts on Facebook
. However, you can also visit the website of the Partnership to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
and sign the petitions. While these petitions do not have much weight politically, they are nevertheless a public relations marketing tool showing the number of people who want to see this cruelty end.
KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!
PARTNERSHIP TO BAN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES: is a new group started by Jodie Wiederkehr from Chicago Alliance for Animals. The mission of the Partnership is to "effectively organize and work with multiple organizations around the world to streamline our identical purpose of banning the dangerous, cruel and unnecessary practice of horse-drawn carriages."
The organization includes members from all over the United States and Europe. If you are campaigning in your city against horse-drawn carriages and want to join, contact Jodie at firstname.lastname@example.org