Friday, April 4, 2008

New York City

My good friend Beth has moved to NYC. We stayed up Monday night until 5am talking (and drinking:-) and then I had to take her to the airport. I am sad, but know this is a great opportunity. Portland feels a little empty with her gone, but she is going to have the time of her life working for CNN. She sent me this photo today of a carriage horse. There has been a lot of talk in equine magazines about the ban of carriage horses in the city. PETA and ASPCA are behind ban bills and petitions. They claim the use of the horses in the city is inhumane and the horses are subject to a grueling and danergous life on the streets, breathing exhaust fumes and living in cramped stables with no turnout. I have read arguments on the other side and the horse owners say their horses are their bread and butter and they are very well cared for and loved. For me, I would hate to see a ban, just an overhaul of the system. I think the more uses we find for horses, the better. I see the jobs for draft horses diminishing and it would be nice if the world had uses for these beautiful, big horses. If the city could impliment some sort of equine labor law and limit hours on the job, mandatory vet checks, and since they are such a tourist draw, maybe the city should subsidise the cost of transport and care of horses into the city from boarding stables with turnout. I would be happy if my tax dollars went to help these horses have a better life. Easy fix--and people can going on enjoying the beauty of these horses and the joy of just being around them and the horses are treated fairly and humanely. What are my readers thoughts on a carriage horse ban?

16 comments:

Rising Rainbow said...

I am against it. And frankly I'm worried that it is just the first step in getting the use of horses banned altogether. I have friends who lobby on the behalf of horse owners are it is a continual struggle to protect our rights to enjoy our horses. There really are those people out there who believe that horses being "used" by humans at all is inhumane. They just don't understand that in the wild the horses have a much more difficult life.

Rising Rainbow said...

I forgot to say,a job with CNN is pretty cool. Congrats to your friend.

ranchette said...

I'm also against the carriage ban. I am very leary of organizations like PETA and animal rights extremists who believe any "sport" use of horses is inhumane.

If there are welfare issues with carriage horses, they should be addressed on an individual basis - maybe random health checks annually as part of the licensing process.

Foster Communications said...

I'm hoping to make a trip to NYC this summer. I'd like to take a carriage ride when I"m there. Can't imagine not doing it. Adds to the charm of the city. I wonder what regulation is there? I guess I had assumed it was regulated, that the horses were cared for.

Mellimaus said...

I think it's nice that there are carriage horses in the world-like you said, atleast they have a job. If they had limited work hours, or maybe worked one day, rested with turnout one day, worked one day, etc, it would be better. And it's (in my opinion) not just that people like to see horses on the streets, I'm sure some of the horses, atleast, like their job. I know my horse loves to be worked, and they may enjoy pulling carts in the city as well! As long as they are vet-checked, taken to the farrier, and fed, I think it should be allowed...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Horses a brilliant animals and they do seem happier when they have a job. I recall seeing a TV show in which animal control officers were sending the carriage horses back to their stalls because the temperature rose above 80 degrees. People breathe in all that exhaust, cross those dangerous streets, and live in tiny boxes, but no one seems concerned about that.

Tracey said...

Banning carriage horses? Yikes! PETA needs to be stopped.

Sorry you lost Beth, but CNN??? Hey, not a bad thing to lose her to!

Gardagami said...

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learninghorses said...

When I first went to central park last summer, I took a lot of pictures of the carriage horses. I have seen carriage horses in Anchorage and Portland, all in MUCH better condition than the ones I saw in NYC. The ones in NY looked underfed, overworked and I wouldn't ride in one of those carriages if someone paid me. Granted it was one day, but NO WAY were those horses well taken care of.

So do I support a ban? I don't think so because done right, as you suggest, the horses could be quite content.

Callie said...

I too, would hate to see a ban. I had a ride over Christmas that was given to me as a gift and I took the family and we enjoyed it. He was a strong and calm beautiful draft, however, I cut the ride a bit short cuz I felt a bit guilty. But it is their livelyhood. This country was built with horses and tradition. And a lot of these horses are working. I agree with Mikael.

Jackie said...

Agreed - it wouldn't bode well for these draft horses to have their jobs taken away. We don't need to have more horses who are viewed as "useless" that are being neglected or shipped across the borders for slaughter.

If there are troubles with them not receiving proper care, then address that issue.

The only thing I don't like is that they aren't receiving turnout. I hate to see horses constantly in stalls and never getting to stretch their legs, eat grass, and just be horses.

emma said...

I don't know much about the in's and out's of operating horse carriages but I would assume like any pet owners there are good ones and bad ones. It is not fair to place a ban on an industry because a few bad seeds but if research shows that the majority are not acting in the interest of the horses then maybe something needs to be done. It is tricky when people earn money off the use of animals there is always a risk that they are not going to be the best treated. I don't like to say either way but in all instances animals should be treated with the outmost respect and love and laws should be in place to assure this. So often the animals suffer because we see them as a beast of burden. I know I have seen carriages in big cities and cars not at all respecting the fact that there is an animal at teh front ... I know of a case where a car hit into the back of one and the horse had to be put down. :( I don't think any of us who love our horses would put them in that sort of risk each day.

Kristine said...

Oh Peta. Unfortunately, as soon as I see their name, my hackles immediately rise. In theory, the organization is wonderful, but generally their execution is appalling. That's why I prefer organizations like the Humane Society and WWF. They are passionate, but not fanatical.

That said, I'd hate to see a carriage ban, myself.

ae said...

Is so sad having horses banned from our cities, when sometime ago they were our main "vehicles". I really would like to have Global support to keep them in.

Here in Portugal, the government announced the end of mounted police. That is really sad... I loved to see them in the streets!!!

arthist99 said...

I'm with you. Tweak the system to eliminate the abuses, but don't ban the practice altogether.

As others have said, PETA is a little too aggressive for me. I'm a huge fan of the Humane Society and the ASPCA. I actually didn't find anywhere that the ASPCA wanted to ban the practice, just improve conditions: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_horsehistory

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

I am against it too, although the pollution could be a poroblem, but then we humans are breathing that same air so if it is good enough for us it is good enough for them or else they better clean it up!!

Organisations like PETA are against all useage of animals, for meat or labor which is rediculous, they are over the top and hence we have this terrible dilemma on our hands with the closing of the slaughter houses and our poor horses having to be shipped hundreds more miles to Canada and Mexico in appauling conditions and being slaughtered inhumanely and usedd in cruel "sports" in Mexico that just boggle my mind.

So I suppose that Animal Rights groups do have a point but there is such a thing as too neurotic especially when the animal they are supposedly protecting are the ones that are suffering.

Off my soap box.

(((Hugs))))
Lori