Rome’s horse drawn botticelle to move to parks

Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.
Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.

(ANSA.IT) ROME, ITALY — Rome’s famed ‘botticelle’ horse-drawn tourist carriages are to move from the streets of the Italian capital to its villas’ parks under a measure passed by the environmental committee on Tuesday, 25 September.

The move is set to be put to final approval by the mobility committee “within the first few days of October”, sources said.

“Among the key aims of the measure is to avoid all suffering to the horses, taking the botticelle activities to more suitable locations like parks and historic villas,” said the head of the Rome environmental committee, Daniele Diaco of the ruling anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

It will also be possible for drivers to switch jobs and apply for taxi licenses, he said.

Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.

Animal rights groups have long complained that the horses are subject to too much stress and strain on Rome’s hot cobbled streets.

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In pictures

Too much stress and strain? Hot cobbled streets? Yes, we agree. However, that’s only the beginning of what these horses suffer. Pictures say a thousand words. Look familiar?

Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Un cavallo a terra per un malore davanti a Palazzo Chigi, Roma 30 ottobre 2014. ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion waiting for his next trip, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.

Where do the horses live? The same type of miserable conditions, totally unnatural for a horse, as any other carriage horse in any other city. This is a worldwide system of abuse.

Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse "Inventore" before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse “Inventore” before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse "Inventore" arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse “Inventore” arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

We can’t use this image linked here without paying for it, but it shows what the typical stall looks like.

Ban Horse Drawn Carriages

Even with moving Rome’s carriage horses to park like settings, the horses will still be working in the same weather conditions, still living in the same crumbling buildings totally in situations totally unnatural to a horse, pulling heavy loads of tourists, and can still be spooked.

“Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.”

Here is the intended replacement for the horses.

Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.
Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.

This is the best we can hope for. However, what will happen to the horses? Turned into sausages no doubt, an Italian gastromic favourite.

Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.
Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.

Will Chicago say ‘nay’ to horse drawn carriages?

Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.
Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.

Multiple media outlets have covered how Chicago’s horse carriage companies are violating both Chicago’s Ordinance and the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act by overworking carriage horses, among other mistreatment. Will the City of Chicago ban horse drawn carriages? They have a great opportunity before them to do just that. Let’s see.

CBS Chicago reports:

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s downtown horse carriage rides may be forced to ride into the sunset.

Three aldermen are backing a move to eliminate the carriage rides before the winter holidays, with strong support from animal rights activists.

Danny Shugrue, the manager of Antique Coach and Carriages, says Chicago will not be the same without its iconic horse drawn carriages. “How many things are we going to drive out of the city where it’s just a generic thing? With no character left?” Shugrue questioned.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward) contends the horse carriages add cruelty, not character.

“They’ve not been able to regulate themselves and the city doesn’t have the resources to regulate them,” Ald. Ray Lopez stated. He is joining Ald. Brendan Reilly and Brian Hopkins, backing an ordinance that would bar carriage operators from renewing their licenses in November, essentially driving them out of business.

Animal activist Jodie Weiderker of Chicago Alliance for Animals points out, and the city confirmed, carriage operators received 334 citations and more than $20,000 in fines last year.

“We have witnessed and documented horses being overworked, sometimes as long as 12 plus hours, working horses when it’s been 90 degrees or hotter and also not providing water, many times,” Weiderker said.

A vote is set for the next City Council meeting. Read more; view video report »

No Vote

The City Council Committee declined to vote.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The fate of Chicago’s horse-drawn carriages will remain uncertain for a little while longer, after a City Council committee declined Wednesday to vote on an ordinance that would put them out of business.

Emma Mitts, chairwoman of the Committee on License and Consumer Protection, said she believes that given more time, a compromise can be worked out between foes of horse-drawn carriages in Chicago and the horse and carriage owners. The committee was considering a proposed ordinance that would bar horse-drawn carriage owners from renewing their licenses, putting them out of business in the city. Read more »

There is no compromise for cruelty. You have failed Ms Mitts. And this is not the first time the Chicago City Council has failed the horses on this issue.

Ridiculousness

The more things change the more they stay the same. Listen to this argument Committee chairwoman Mitts made:

“The decision by the committee not to vote followed three hours of often-emotional testimony from both sides. After testimony ended, Mitts expressed anger that she was being pressured to make a quick decision about the carriages when people are dying from violence in other parts of the city.” See Tribune story »

What? Sigh.

Create a Storm

Let’s show love for Chicago’s carriage horses and support the work Chicago Alliance for Animals is doing on their behalf.

Get out there on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and protest the continuance of horse drawn carriages in Chicago. You don’t have to be from the area. The carriage horse trade is tourist driven and the City of Chicago will not like getting bad publicity. Let’s put the heat on. Will you help?

Sample language. Use the first phrase always. The select from the rest. Hashtags and handles to follow. Peak hours for hashtagging #Chicago is 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST.

Ban horse drawn carriages Chicago. It’s dangerous and inhumane. Cruelty knows no regulation. Just ban it!

@ChiCouncil #chicouncil

#chicago #horses #carriagehorses #horsedrawncarriages

Or do something quick like this:

Ban horse drawn carriages #Chicago. @ChiCouncil

On Facebook go to one of Chicago’s top tourist pages https://www.facebook.com/ChooseChicago/ and leave a message. No threats, no bad language etc. Just a quick, simple message.

Let us know your ideas in comments or by email to info@horsefund.org.

Related Reading

Chicago refuses to enforce carriage horse laws, One Green Planet »

Chicago Alliance for Animals Facebook page »

 

Bizarre horse-drawn car(riage) in Ballyfermot sparks ire

This image of a bizarre horse-drawn “carriage” made up of a rusted out car pulled by a small horse has put the “ire” in Ireland for some folks.

Source: Irish Su
Story and Image Source: Irish Sun.

The Irish Sun reports:

The image was shared by Sean Fox on Facebook and his post has exploded with reactions from viewers, some of who were in complete disbelief at the sight.

Sean uploaded the picture yesterday afternoon and said: “F*** sake Ballyfermot for ya”.

The post has since gone viral, amassing close to 1,000 comments and over 2,300 shares so far.

Shocked Facebook users have commented in huge numbers in reaction to the mode of transport – with some crediting the creative driver.

Others were upset with the picture and questioned if it was a case of animal cruelty. Someone else said: “It’s beyond me how this level of animal cruelty is so amusing to people, I hope the DSPCA get involved.

Maybe we have lost our sense of humour. It is a bit comical at first sight. But we are not amused. Hopefully this was a one-off, soon to be forgotten and will not spark copycats.

NYC Mayor failing carriage horses yet again

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: A carriage horse trots near Central Park on April 21, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made a campaign pledge to ban carriages in Central Park. As the horse carriage industry, which mainly takes tourists through the park, has come under criticism from animal welfare agencies, many New Yorkers are voicing their support for the horses and drivers. On Saturday animal welfare activists protested in front of actor Liam Neeson's home after he wrote a newspaper piece in support of the carriage horses. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY: A carriage horse trots near Central Park on April 21, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made a campaign pledge to ban carriages in Central Park. As the horse carriage industry, which mainly takes tourists through the park, has come under criticism from animal welfare agencies, many New Yorkers are voicing their support for the horses and drivers. On Saturday animal welfare activists protested in front of actor Liam Neeson’s home after he wrote a newspaper piece in support of the carriage horses. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

We don’t know about you but we are more than fed up with New York City Mayor deBlasio.

DeBlasio initially ran on a ticket that included helping the City’s miserably treated carriages horses, then sold the horses out the moment he was elected. He has huffed and puffed about it since then, but in actuality hasn’t done a damn thing for them. Until now he thinks. It is not true.

In an email shout out, the “Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages” have exposed deBlasio’s latest smoke and mirror tactic.

We quote that email:

NEW MAYORAL PROPOSAL IS NO WALK IN THE PARK

The deBlasio administration recently announced a “big win” for the NYC carriage horses with the relocation of the hack line on Central Park South to five locations within Central Park. Some people are unfortunately buying this alternative reality.

Below is a list of the five proposed hack lines.  For a more detailed description of the proposal, please look at last week’s newsletter.  Click Here.

1.  AT W. 72ND STREET OFF CENTRAL PARK WEST

This hack line will be about 130′ long and will offer no shade for the horses.  The carriages will also be required to travel 13 blocks north on Central Park West, mixing with heavy traffic.

The larger lane shown on the street below is for parking; the narrower one is for bikes.  The carriages will travel with the other traffic to reach this destination.

2.  AT W. 67th NEAR TAVERN ON THE GREEN

This is currently being used for carriages.  There is no shade and carriages will need to travel up Central Park West to access it.

3. NEAR 7TH AVENUE OFF CENTRAL PARK SOUTH

This is one of two locations off Central Park South; again there is no shade.  To access this location, carriages will drive from their stables on the far west side of Manhattan reaching Central Park South where they will make an illegal U-turn to the 7th Avenue location.

4.  NEAR 5TH AVENUE OFF CENTRAL PARK SOUTH

This is the other location off Central Park South; also no shade for the horses.  Drivers will also need to make an illegal U-turn to access this location.

The existing water troughs are off 6th Avenue and near Grand Army Plaza (but not the new hack line.) The carriages will need to do some fancy maneuvering to reach them — especially the carriages at the 7th Avenue location.

5.  AT E. 72ND STREET OFF FIFTH AVENUE

The carriages will be making illegal U-turns on Central Park South to access the roads in the park to take them to this location.  This will be the easiest way to get to this new location since Fifth Avenue is one way — downtown.

*   *   *

The Mayor and those who support this proposal say that the horses will be out of traffic and have shade and water in the park. None of this is true. It is not a “big win.” It was done to placate his supporters.

ACCIDENTS: Carriage drivers are not required to report accidents. So unless the public knows about it and gets the NYPD and/or media involved – it never happened. It is to a carriage driver’s benefit not to report an accident that will hurt the reputation of the trade.

ACCIDENT STATISTICS: We have recorded 103 accidents since 1982. 19 of those have been at or near the hack line that is proposed to be relocated. But 14 of them happened in Central Park. The balance of 70 happened around the city in different areas. The accidents were typical — horses spooking, collapsing, crashing into something or being crashed into; dead horses.

This works out to 81.5% of all recorded accidents occurring away from the hack line — inside Central Park and around the city. Only 18.5% occurred at or near the hack line.

CARS: While cars are no longer allowed in Central Park, certain vehicles are, which include NYPD cars and emergency vehicles and Parks Dept. vehicles. In addition, there are hoards of people, cyclists, skateboarders and pedicabs in the park.

This is Horse Shit New York. Ban the Horse Drawn Carriage Trade Now.
Feel free to copy and use this image in your social media messages especially Twitter. Be sure to tag it well!

Interestingly, the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico signed an executive order banning horse-drawn carriages. He signed the ban four days after a carriage horse collapsed on the street. Just saying.

Help These Horses

Visit the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages website to find out what you can do! (http://banhdc.org). Please like their page at https://www.facebook.com/BanHDC/.

Here are more ideas from the Coalition to Ban-Horse Drawn Carriages email letter:

1. Don’t drink the kool-aid. Please question and think for yourself.

2. Post a comment on the Department of Transportation website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.

3. Testify at the Department of Transportation hearing on October 3rd at 1pm. The Bid Room at 55 Water Street, Concourse Level. Call 212-839-6500.

Use Social Media!

Spread the word on social media, especially if you are in the New York City area. But it doesn’t matter if you are not. Tourists from around the world visit NYC!

Here are some tags to use particularly on Twitter.

#banhorsedrawncarriages #carriagehorses  #manhattan #nyc #nycgov #billdeblasio

@deblasio @nycmayor @billdeblasio @newyorkcity

Before We Go

“Mayor deBlasio was on the Brian Lehrer show recently. At one point, a man named Craig called in and said he had looked at all five of the proposed new locations and that they provided no shade for the horses. The Mayor seemed surprised. (Oops). But then he caught himself and dismissively said that the carriages do not stay in any place long enough since they are continuously busy with passengers — so they will not be harmed by the sun.” How glib! But this is not true.

Protesters call for a ban on horse drawn carriages in New York City. BanHDC.org.
Protesters call for a ban on horse drawn carriages in New York City. BanHDC.org.