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Stop horsing around: Advocates demand end to carriage industry after Midtown horse collapses

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Animal rights advocates rallied outside of City Hall Thursday after a horse collapsed in Midtown.
Photo by Dean Moses

Animal rights advocates NYCLASS and PETA rallied outside of City Hall Thursday to demand action less than 24-hours after a horse collapsed in Midtown.

Outraged animal welfare demonstrators lined up on Broadway outside City Hall where they denounced the carriage industry for working the animal in scorching temperatures while also suffering from an alleged medical condition. 

The incident occurred on 45th Street and 9th Avenue during the evening rush hour at around 5 p.m. NYPD officers managed to resuscitate the horse after dosing it with cool water. The carriage union stated that the horse was diagnosed with a neurological disease; however, they feel that protesters are taking advantage of the incident by using it to push their agenda to end the industry.

Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses

Erik Bottcher, the co-sponsor of the bill to replace the industry with electric carriages disagreed. Standing with protesters, the council member stated that it is time for New York to move with the times and put an end to workhorses.

“Honestly it’s time for us as New Yorkers to sit down and come up with a way to transition away from something that is very inhumane,” Bottcher said. “When they think about that romantic image, they don’t think about what we saw yesterday, which is very ugly and that video says it all.”

Advocates are imploring the City Council to fast-track Intro. 573 and ban the practice from the street. Those in favor of the move say they believe it will be better for the horses and workers, who will be able to drive in all seasons regardless of climate. Speakers also called collapses like these traumatizing for witnesses. 

“New Yorkers are tired of seeing horses collapsing in the streets. We do not want to see suffering horses on the streets of our city anymore. Enough is enough,” Ashley Byrne of PETA said. “They just keep sinking lower and lower. This is just another example of a sick horse being worked with a medical condition.”

With signs held high, the group chanted and demanded an immediate end to horse carriages.

Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses

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