Animal rights activists demanded an end to New York’s horse carriage industry in bloody fashion on Monday, Sept. 27, following a grisly collision between a work equine and traffic last week.
Organized by NYClass and PETA, the seething group of protesters converged outside the stables at 618 West 52nd St., where they plastered caution tape to the walls and doors of the site. Demanding that elected officials fast-track legislation to outlaw horse-drawn carriages permanently, the group cited an accident that occurred on Sept. 23 in Midtown in which a horse named Chief was seen flailing on the ground after striking a BMW.
Dramatic video from the scene not only shows the animal in clear distress, but also large amounts of blood splattered across the pavement.
“Our message is simple: This horse abuse has to end. New York City is one of the last large cities that still allows this kind of animal abuse on our streets. We are demanding that the New York City Council and Mayor de Blasio get these horses off the streets. How many more bloody crashes, collapses, horse deaths, human injuries have to happen before we end this city sanctioned out of animal abuse?” said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS.
Activists not only called the horse carriage industry a bloody trade, but they also showed it by pouring fake blood over the sidewalk directly in front of the stables while chanting “There’s no excuse for horse abuse!”
Republican mayoral hopeful Curtis Sliwa also attended the rally, lending his voice to the cause. Although Sliwa joined in condemning carriages and Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to keep his promise to outlaw them, NYCLASS also made it known that they do not endorse his platform.
In response to the accusations of cruelty, Christinia Hansen, a New York City carriage driver and spokesperson for the carriage industry, called the protesters “radicalists” who she believes bank on horse injuries occurring to further their platform.
“This is the typical response of a group of people who wake up every morning hoping that something bad is going to happen to a carriage horse because it advances their radical horse agenda. They want to eliminate all animals from all human interaction, like you shouldn’t honey because it exploits the bees,” Hansen said, asserting that she goes to work ensuring the horses are happy, healthy, and safe.
She reports that Chief is expected to make a full recovery. However, Birnkrant claimed that stables simply stitch the horse back up for it to return to dangerous conditions.