A horse is led down the ramp at the West Side Stables in New York City. (Amy Pearl/WNYC)

Animal rights activists encourage Central Park horse drawn carriage riders to get out and not pay

Cross-posted from WABC Ch. 7 Manhattan

Caslon Quote Left BlackTHE debate over the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park has taken another turn. Animal rights activists with the ‘Empty the Carriage’ campaign are encouraging riders to get out, but some are calling this move harassment.

“They’ll try to tell customers that the animals are abused, or that the horses are working 14 hours a day, or that they’re not fed…all sorts of things,” says horse carriage driver Gareth Smith.

“So when they tell that customer ‘get out, and don’t pay’, they’re not volunteering money to keep up the horse,” added Craig Shelton of Friends of NYC Carriage Horse.

‘Empty the Carriage’ defends the practice, in a written statement, saying,

“Empty the Carriages is having great success with our tactics of educating tourists about the cruelties and danger inhered in NYC’s reckless carriage horse industry. The carriage drivers falsely accuse us of ‘harassing’ these tourists when it is clear they were eager to get off the carriage.”

“The children were looking at the horses, and we were making sure that they had water…it’s very visible that they weren’t stressed,” said tourist Diana Heffernan.

A debate comes at the time of the year when tourists line up along Central Park for hours to mark the iconic New York experience off of their bucket list.

The group is planning another rally on Sunday, where they plan to form a ‘human chain’ near the entrance to the Park to support animal rights.


Hmmm, what do you think about Empty the Carriage’s tactic?

FEATURED IMAGE
A carriage horse is led down the ramp at the West Side Stables in New York City. (Amy Pearl/WNYC)

2 thoughts on “Animal rights activists encourage Central Park horse drawn carriage riders to get out and not pay”

  1. Sadly – the end result of this kind of “activism” might just hasten the end of these working horse’s lives! I agree with Linda – anyone who actually SEES any kind of abuse – yeah – speak up! But to remove the incomes of carriage drivers who are responsibly caring for their horses? Honestly – use common sense!

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  2. Let’s begin with common sense. Do we even have any of that any more? If you are walking through central park and see a horse being abused, horrid working conditions, emaciated, etc., then for heaven’s speak up and say something. God gave you a mouth for a reason. If on the other hand, there is no cruelty, but well cared for equines, etc., then I have no problem. It always comes down to who is taking care of the equine, appearance, quality of life, etc. If it is freezing outside; freezing rain, etc., then yes, the horses should be stalled during the inclement weather. Again, common sense.

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