By Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Well, it's not the law of our dreams, but we're happy to report that one part of a bill that has just been passed in New York City (and maybe just the one part) should improve living conditions for horses who are used to pull carriages. Under the new legislation, carriage operators are required to provide horses with larger stalls in which they can finally turn around and lie down (the current stalls couldn't be smaller unless you built them through the horses' flanks) as well as to allow the horses to come off the roads and spend five weeks out of every year at a stable with a paddock or a pasture.
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A hike in fares has also been enacted. It probably won't make a difference, but it might decrease the number of misguided tourists who want to take horses for a ride. After all, it's the animals who pay the ultimate price in this money-hungry industry: Horses are forced to pull heavy loads in all weather extremes while walking on hard pavement, dodging loud traffic, and inhaling exhaust fumes that cause damage to their lungs comparable to that which heavy smokers experience. Does that sound even remotely romantic to you?
Anyone who has seen or thought about this wretched excuse for amusement knows that it's past time for the horse-drawn carriage industry to be put out to pasture permanently. Tel Aviv has done it, and now it's time for New York to do it. Please join us in asking New York City officials to ban horse-drawn carriages as a blight on the city. Thanks!