NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: A carriage horse eats by Central Park moments before all drivers were ordered to return to the stables due to heat on August 10, 2018 in New York City. According to New York City administrative code, all carriage horses used in tourism must immediately stop working and return to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Animal rights activists, who want to permanently end the carriage horse business in the city, say many drivers ignore the law or linger in the park looking for customers long after an alert has been issued. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NYC Mayor signs off on animal bill that helps carriage horses

Finally. Some encouraging news for New York City’s carriage horses.

New York City took another step towards the protection of animals across the city on Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing off on a new law that included carriage horses.

The legislation limits when horse carriages can operate in hot weather — six years after pledging to rid the city of the industry entirely.

Central Park’s carriage horses are already banned from working when temperatures hit 90 degrees or more in the summer and when it’s 18 degrees or below in the winter.

But the legislation signed by de Blasio would also prohibit carriage horses from working when temperatures hit 80 degrees and the “equine heat index” — the sum of the temperature and the relative humidity at any point — is at least 150. This will potentially increase the number of weather related suspensions from 24 to 44 which threatens the livelihood of the carriage horse business in New York.

A group called NYCLASS has pushed lawmakers to end the carriage industry for years, although critics of the group note its co-founder Steve Nislick, a real estate developer, has also in the past lobbied the mayor for an affordable housing plan in the neighborhood around Manhattan’s largest carriage stable.

After de Blasio’s 2013 campaign got a financial boost from NYCLASS, he promised to completely ban Central Park horse carriages “on day one.” The effort failed spectacularly, though the city limited pickups to inside the park in 2018 at the urging of NYCLASS.

“The mayor signing this bill indicates that he is part of NYCLASS’s systematic effort to destroy the carriage horses,” carriage driver Christina Hansen said, saying the bill was “unscientific.”


In His 5th Year as Mayor, de Blasio Finally Acts on Horse-Carriage Pledge, New York Times, Aug 30, 2018 (Note: Mayor Bill de Blasio directed his administration to move the Central Park location where horse carriages wait for passengers to five boarding areas within the park only.)

18 thoughts on “NYC Mayor signs off on animal bill that helps carriage horses”

  1. The horses are not abused, they are loved and cared for. NYCLASS is a paid puppet arm of a billionaire who wants the land the stables occupy and DeBlasio is a pathetic poster boy for the Peter Principle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree about NYCLASS. It’s no secret. But . . . you believe carriage horses are not abused, that they are loved and cared for? What could possibly make you believe that? We’ve toured many carriage horses stables across the country, and there is nothing loving and caring about their living and working conditions. That means the operators are either unscrupulous, ignorant about horses, or simply don’t give a damn.


      1. Its all about money. They will keep those horses in the heat and freezing anyway. Its a business not a rescue.


        1. There are proper ways of operating a business, any business. The carriage horse business has shown they will never do right by the horses. Their track record speaks for itself. That’s why it needs to be shut down. We’ll see how it turns out.


        2. Newsflash! Horses are outdoor animals. They live in the heat and cold all around the world. And, being a business means they have to take care of their animals without which they have no business.


        3. Businesses need to protect their assets. The horses are an asset. It would be stupid to hurt your best assets, wouldn’t it? Not every horse can do this job.


      2. I visited the horses in NYC, and all of them are in good physical and mental condition. That doesn’t happen when horses are abused. It’s obvious to me how much the drivers care for their horses. You, OTOH, seem to be pushing an agenda.


        1. You are the one pushing an agenda. Say whatever you like. “Visited the horses in NYC, … good physical and mental condition”. Get out of town with that. You obviously know little to nothing about horses. Or simply being disingenuous. No sale.

          The carriage horse trade’s days are numbered in NYC, not because it is cruel, and dangerous to the horses and potentially to passengers — which it is — but because business and money are everything and politicians will make sure what business wants business gets, especially when a lot of money changes hands.


        2. I got my first horse in 1976, and have continuously owned at least one since then. I’ve also operated a boarding stable since 1998. I think I know enough about horses to have an educated opinion.
          Are you a lackey for businessmen like Nislick? Is that why your concern for the heat is only for carriage horses and not police horses? Just goes to prove that none of this is out of actual concern for the horses.


    1. What? By lowering how much heat the horses are allowed to work in? Our experience is you can find a veterinarian who will make whatever statement you want, provided you pay them well for it of course.


      1. 90 degrees is probably the lowest quit work temperature in the country. The police horses don’t quit at 90 and neither do most other horses. Heck, I don’t get to quit caring for horses when the temps are 90 or below 18.
        Your horse advocacy should concentrate on real forms of abuse. Horse tripping (illegal in the US) is a real problem.


        1. It’s not “just” the temperature. Humidity plays a large role. As a very general rule, you can gauge if it’s too hot to ride or work by adding the actual temperature to the percent humidity. For a 90 degree day with 85 percent humidity, the total is 175, If that number is 140, 150, 180 or above, it’s too hot. Horses normally cool themselves by sweating. so the sweat evaporates from the skin surface and causes a cooling effect. Less sweat evaporates during times of high humidity, so the cooling effect is diminished. So a hot humid day is very different from a hot dry day and can pose a risk for heat stroke. While some might believe that 90 degrees should not be an issue for a horse, it is the cumulative index of temperature and humidity that can cause problems.

          Also, take into account a very sunny day where the sun is beating down and the asphalt in direct sun is very, very hot, much hotter than the air. A study conducted by Cornell’s Urban Horticultural Institute revealed the temperature at street level in New York could be as much as 45 degrees higher than the temperature recorded by the U.S. Weather Bureau. Moreover, overheating can result from prolonged exposure to sunlight and dehydration can occur due to excessive water loss through sweating. Just some things to think about as each situation is different.


        2. No need to explain the role of humidity to me, but the heat index chart adopted by the city is not a good measure for horses. Equine veterinarians all say this temperature plus humidity being greater than 150 when it’s more than 80 degrees, is something that’s just simply not a viable scale, and it would actually mean the horses couldn’t work in the morning when everybody knows it’s cooler and the best time to be outside, and would actually be allowed out in the afternoon when it’s hotter, since the humidity is greater in the morning and less in the afternoon. The equine vet that in 1993 came up with that temperature plus humidity for performance horses, and endurance horses, who are galloping at elevated heart rates, for 12 to 24 hours at a time,. The carriage horses are standing, they’re walking, they’re not running around and if this was really about animal welfare, and not about animal rights, this would apply to every single horse in New York City. It would apply to police horses, it would apply to the riding horses, privately owned horses, and the horses on the race track, but it only applies to carriage horses.
          The current heat regulation has been working well without incident since it was implemented. There is no need to change the regulation, unless someone is trying to put the carriage horses out of business. Now, who might that be?


        3. OK, but your opinion is not based on facts. That’s typical of animal rights activists who think feelings are more important.


        4. I’m not sure what isn’t factual in my comment.

          If you are arguing about the cumulative heat index, there are guidelines to follow – “guidelines”. The cooling mechanism is most effective when the sum of the temperature and relative humidity is less than 130. Efficiency of cooling decreases between 130 and 150. When the sum of the ambient temperature and relative humidity is greater than 150, the horse’s ability to cool itself is greatly reduced and when the sum is greater than 180, the horse could be in danger.

          But I guess because you don’t believe any of that, or the effect of hot pavement etc., you’re right and I’m wrong. You win. Hope that makes you feel better.


        5. What isn’t factual is the chart you are using. Heat index is a much more complicated equation than temp + humidity.
 In any case, the current regulation of 90 F has been adequate to keep the horses safe. If the horses are already working safely, it serves no real purpose to force them out of work on more days. Other horses around the country continue to work safely in even higher temperatures. The pavement makes little difference. Horses hooves are impervious to heat, and their body mass is several feet above the pavement.


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