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An emaciated and ulcerated horse named Michelle was still forced to haul many tourists in the sweltering heat of New York. Countless worried residents and visitors informed local authorities of her deteriorating condition, but their fears were ignored and she was forced to continue towing for at least a week.
Predictably, a crew union spokesman dismissed all eyewitness accounts and said everything was fine, although Michelle was reportedly fired from her job due to mounting pressure.
The time to ban rides in horse-drawn carriages is long overdue. The laws governing the carriage trade have long failed to deal with horses, many of which have suffered and died. The New York City Police and Health Departments do not have the resources or desire to monitor the conditions in which horses are forced to work on a regular basis, or to ensure that the rules are followed. Meanwhile, carriage operators struggle with and defy all the rules set to protect horses and the public.
PETA has joined NYCLASS and other local advocates in calling on the city to end the brutality. Treating horses as machines is a speculative mindset that needs to end. Horses are social animals that use 17 facial expressions to communicate with each other. They prefer to spend time grazing in the meadows, wandering around at will, playing and grooming.
“We cannot allow this violence to continue.”
– Speaker of the Council Corey Johnson
One administration after another has not taken decisive action, but the horses can no longer wait. Please persuade New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to chair the council and immediately ban horse-drawn carriages.