NYC Mayor signs off on animal bill that helps carriage horses

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)

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.”

RELATED READING

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.)

The Case of the Queen and the Flatulent Horse

HM The Queen is not amused. Reader's Digest image.

Hello there. We have so much doom and gloom on these pages, we thought perhaps it was time to throw in a bit of humour — at HM The Queen’s expense.

The Mirror newspaper reports:

The Queen is probably one of the last people on earth you can imagine breaking wind in public. Not only would it be mortifying to accidentally let it escape while meeting her subjects, but the whole world would soon get to know about it. Sometimes, it’s really not better out than in.

On I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here Australia, former royal butler Paul Burrell shared a story about a case of embarrassing flatulence which happened on a carriage ride.

According to Burrell, The Queen, Prince Philip and the Sultan of Bahrain were all in the same carriage. Setting the scene, he adds “Imagine the picture. I’m sat here, people are singing God Save The Queen, and the Queen and Prince Philip are next to me.”

“The Sultan of Bahrain had been enjoying polite small talk with his royal hosts when suddenly, a huge explosion of wind came from one of the horses in front. The party might have managed to gloss over it, except the smell was apparently horrendous and went straight through the carriage.

The intervening silence was almost as embarrassing as the odour hanging in the air.

“Do you think I should say something?” she asked Phillip who said, “Yes, do.”

So the Queen leaned forward and touched the Sultan’s knee and said, “I’m terribly sorry about that awful noise,” and sat back.

The Sultan leaned forward and said: “That’s quite alright, your majesty… I thought it was one of the horses!”

Well, yes.

Montreal carriage horse industry to end by 2020

A horse-drawn carriage in Old Montreal, 2016. Paul Chiasson/CP
A horse-drawn carriage in Old Montreal, 2016. Paul Chiasson/CP

Thanks to the tireless campaign of the all volunteer Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition and a sympathetic and courageous Mayor, the abusive carriage horse industry in Montreal, Canada, will shut down as of December 31, 2019.

The City of Montreal began offering to buy the horses May 1, 2019 at $1000 per horse, which is more than the owners would get at an auction. The City, in conjunction with local organizations, will have the horses adopted.

Bravo to the City of Montreal and their Mayor. Congratulations to the Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition on your inspiring victory.

RELATED READING

Montreal introduces plan to ban horse-drawn carriages by 2020 amid animal welfare concerns, June, 2018.

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.