Letters: The Carriage Debate Gallops On

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:06

Readers weigh in on the controversial topic of carriage horses in Central Park

Last week, we published an op-ed "The Argument For Banning Horse Carriages," by Elizabeth Forel, president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. She wrote in response to our original editorial, "Where are the reasonable people?" (May 1, 2014) which argued that the debate over whether or not to ban the carriage horses has become out of control and filled with over-the-top rhetoric. Forel's op-ed has continued to garner response from our readers. Here are just a few comments from the story on the web.

Bring on the Ban

Well, this should bring more exposure to the behavior of the carriage drivers and how they treat their horses. They should be required to explain where every horse that is replaced goes and why they are being replaced. There should be much more transparency on their business practices, income and taxes paid. The vets chosen to oversee these horses should have to explain their actions, their statements. It is not about the carriage drivers, this about preventing the mistreatment of the horses. If the carriage driver truly took care of their horses, never overworked them, followed the regulations care and rest, then they should not be worried at all. The fact that there is no elimination of drivers that break the rules, no one reporting the infractions until a judge forced the issue, tells this is not a humane business. It is not alright to abuse animals for profit, not alright to risk their lives for profit. Why should this business be any different from the multitude of other businesses using animals? All of these businesses either need to be eliminated or PROVE they are humane, not the other way around. This is about the rights of the animals to NOT be mistreated. By far, the carriage business has done nothing but try to hide or explain away questionable events. People have a choice to walk in traffic or not, people to leave a job that is not treating them well, these horses are not yours to treat as you please. If your business is so wonderful, why is there not more transparency and oversight? Mamajoy2013

You Don't Know Horses

A lot of what I'm reading here indicates to me that people who think the horses are sad and worn down are not familiar with horses. A calm quiet horse is one who stands with their head in a relaxed position, and who waits to be told to move on. You will see horses standing at rest in the exact same position. This is also a HIGHLY regulated industry - they are not working "18 hours per day" nor are they deprived of food or water. Do you really think they'd be fat and shiny if they were deprived of food or water? Please take time to educate yourself, instead of making up a narrative. StopTheInsanity