Horses were domesticated by humans who needed their strength to perform a variety of duties that they were unable to do. And horses, being the docile animals that they are, complied. They became known as “beasts of burden” as if this and nothing else described what they were.
They are often decorated with feathered head dresses, some with glittered body paint and painted hoofs. Undignified – a tawdry decoration to attract tourists. A work horse would pull a plough to till the earth so the farmer could plant seeds and feed his family. A carriage horse pulls unsuspecting tourists around a city to see the sights. These tourists don’t know about cruelty and safety issues, and the carriage drivers certainly aren’t informing them.
When people make money off the back of a horse or any other animal, their first priority is invariably profit. One does not have to know a fetlock from the withers to know that enslaving these horses and shackling them to a carriage for hours on end is inhumane and is all about what the driver wants – not the horse.
Every year more than 100,000 equines are transported from the US across the Mexican and Canadian borders where they are slaughtered for human consumption and shipped to Europe and Japan.
New York City needs to move into the 21st century and stop pretending that this is a big tourist draw or that it provides lots of revenue to the city. It is not and it does not. Horse-drawn carriages pose a danger for the horses, their passengers, other vehicles and pedestrians. Our focus is on urban, commercial / tourist carriage businesses in cities like New York – nothing else.
Horses have highly developed social relationships and need mental and physical stimulation. They are exceedingly social animals and should have the opportunity to graze in a pasture in the company of other equines – something that is denied to them as a carriage horse.
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