In 2008, I posted Should the Carriage Ride Industry in New York City be Banned? after discussing the topic casually with my brother-in-law, Adam Rowe. The post prompted a lively discussion from both sides. Some of the comments the post received were of such a "heated" nature that I could not publish them. This is undoubtedly an issue about which both sides are extremely passionate.
Last week, the Huffington Post reported that New York’s City Council has passed new regulations requiring carriage horses to have larger stalls, five weeks off per year, and blankets in cold and wet weather. Safety requirements for the carriages are also included in the new rules, requiring carriages to have manure-catching devices, emergency brakes, and reflective signs.
According to the Huffington Post report, Mayor Bloomberg supports the bill and is expected to sign it.
These new rules may act as a compromise for animal welfare advocates, who have campaigned for years to shut down the Central Park carriage industry.
Advocates of the carriage ride industry have argued that the horses are treated well, and that the horses will be abandoned or sent out of the country to be slaughtered if the industry is shut down.
The new rules are expected to increase the cost of carriage rides from $34 for the first half-hour to $50 for the first 20 minutes.
I welcome you to share your thoughts on the new rules and how they might affect the well-being of the carriage horses.