In the wake of yesterday’s runaway carriage horse incident in Columbus Circle, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are renewing calls to ban horse-drawn carriages.
The two lawmakers co-sponsored a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, calling the industry inhumane and dangerous.
“Despite claiming to have taken every available precaution, the industry cannot ensure the basic safety of the horses or the public,” Rosenthal said. “If an industry is incapable of preventing accidents, the State has a responsibility to step in. We have been lucky up to this point, but our luck is bound to run out.”
The incident happened when startled carriage horse Oreo bucked and broke free during rush hour traffic in the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan when a passing van got too close. The carriage driver and both passengers were injured.
Speaking on behalf of the ASPCA Joe Pentangelo stated that they “will be examining Oreo again before deciding whether to let him go back to work.”
“Enough is enough,” Avella said. “How many more accidents, injuries and deaths is it going to take before we end this inhumane industry? This latest accident serves as a prime example that horses are easily excited by everyday occurrences in city life. It is absolutely clear that the time has come to ban horse-drawn cabs in the city of New York.”
In the meantime, it is madness putting Oreo back on the street after what he has been through, more so mentally than physically. A horse is not a mechanized vehicle. However, one wonders what destiny would hold for Oreo if they were to bar him from returning to work altogether. Either way, it is a sad, sad business for the horse, as these situations always are.
Source: New York Daily News; James Arkin reporting; Aug. 17, 2012.