Will Horses Be Slaughtered If Horse-Drawn Carriages Are Banned?

With just a couple of months left in office, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg persists in sharing his support for the carriage horse industry. Over time, his perspective has grown increasingly alarmist. He claims that banning the carriages will be a death sentence for the horses.

Horse-drawn carriages are certainly a controversial business in New York City. Activists believe that the bustle and traffic of the crowded city put both the horses and their passengers in danger. One horse even dropped dead from apparent exhaustion. Will ending the practice spare horse lives, though?

“I assume all the horses will go to slaughter,” Bloomberg is quoted as saying in the Daily News. While some activists may perceive the allegation as a threat, the mayor may also have a point. If you can’t trust the carriage owners to properly care for the horses currently, how can you trust them to do right by the horses after they’ve been put out of business?

Sadly, Bloomberg is not the only one to predict a fatal retirement for the carriage horses. Some animal experts have pointed out that about 100,000 “homeless” horses are shipped off for slaughter each year; by putting another 200 NYC horses out of work, this number is likely to grow.

Allie Feldman, a spokeswoman for NYCLASS, one of the main groups opposing the carriage industry, insists that the horses’ “celebrity” status will protect them from harm and that people will want to adopt them for the prestige. Additionally, she pledges that her organization will secure enough money to ensure the horses will receive excellent care.

Bloomberg acknowledges that while the carriage horses may avoid slaughter for this reason, they’ll merely be displacing other non-carriage horses from spots at caring homes, sending them to slaughter instead.

Moreover, the carriage horse owners are preemptively declaring they won’t cooperate with groups actively destroying their livelihoods or sell their horses to sanctuaries that groups like NYCLASS establish. One carriage driver, Christina Hansen, finds the whole movement blown out of proportion. “Horses that have jobs are the last horses that get neglected. It’s the horses that don’t have jobs that we’re seeing shipped to slaughter,” Hansen said.

Mayor Bloomberg, who believes the carriages are an important tradition for the city and help to bring in tourists, agrees. “I don’t think the horses are abused,” he said.

However, even Bloomberg’s own daughter takes issue with her father’s position. Georgina Bloomberg, a longtime equestrian, has been vocal with her concerns for carriage horses. “Obviously, for me, my heart is always with the horses and I always want them to be kept in the best condition possible, which I don’t believe they are,” she said. “Maybe the time has come for them to go.”

One thing is certain, however: the elder Bloomberg won’t have a say in this matter much longer. While the carriage issue was fiercely debated during the mayoral campaign, at this point, both top candidates, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, agree that it is time to ban horse-drawn carriages from NYC.

With the next mayor opposed to the industry, it looks increasingly likely that horse-drawn carriages could be a thing of the past in the nation’s most populous city. What’s less clear, however, is what will become of these horses.

Please sign our petition asking New York not to send these horses to slaughter!

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

K H.
K H.1 years ago

I wish people could just buy or adopt these horses if they end the horse carriage business, they don't deserve to die.

Mark Donner
Mark Donners1 years ago

Of course it's no surprise horses are shipped off to torture in savage Canada. Canada with its psychotic Harper tyrant is considered one of the most vicious, inhumane, sadist, environmentally destructive countries on earth. Canada is equivalent to the Mexican drug cartel criminals which is why it welcomes with open arms the slaughter and torture of horses. Canada is equivalent to the sadistic tyrants of Namibia in its horrific seal massacres. Canada is in league with China in slave labor, destroying the environment and polluting the earth. Canada is a nightmare on this earth.

Mark Donner
Mark Donners1 years ago

I would prefer the horses working under supervision in humane conditions than for any of them to fall into the hands of horse killer criminals.

Mark Donner
Mark Donners1 years ago

Every one of the "kill buyers" and horse transporters, horse slaughterers should pay the ultimate price for their crimes. 100,000 horses every year die at the hands of those monsters. They are in the class of serial killers and murderers and are not fit to breathe another breath of oxygen on this earth.

Anon Ymous
Anon Ymous2 years ago

I do not support a ban on carriage horses in NY or any other city. I do not support any ban on horse slaughter.


Horse slaughter bans have only brought a bulk of horses ot Canada and Mexico. Most anyone in rural areas knows thie route. The amount of horse ownership has been steady and people are fooling themselves in thinking that animals like this can have forever homes. Where is the cows forever home? . WHere is MY forever home???

Also.. Georgina Bloomberg is a heiress with a grown potbellied PIG in her NYC condo, a boyfriend who is the father of her child who is living recklass and carefree, not even touching the jet set horse life style.

Carriage bans and the horse show crowd are beyond strange bed fellows.. It woiuld be funny if not for how sad this is and how it is to deflect issues that may be found within that realm.

Education comes in many ways. Not just in the way in which the radical carriage bans wish to present it.

Lisa D.
Lisa d.2 years ago

I know many will disagree, but i think better to sacrifice the few then to leave the many enduring what they have to endure on the busy streets.

I feel very strongly about this.
Im not American but where I live we get loads of horses on the roads during the early morning rush hours.. and i think it is the most selfish thing in the world for the guy in charge of the horse to take them out into that traffic.. apart from the horse being in the traffic which must be a scary thing, you have all the other drivers on the road very frustrated that not olny must they deal with the cars on the road but they must also be careful of the horses which are slower.

A couple of weeks ago there was an incident where a horse taken out during this morning rush, freaked out at something and ran around the road alone and terrified it was in complete shock! The horse hit cars and just ran around till it had to be brought down by the police. Obviously the horse did not make it.

I do not blame the horse & I do not blame the drivers. The blame is for whoever took that horse out at that time. This is not a one off incident, similar things happen all the time.

carole fraser
carole Fraser2 years ago

What I believe these horse have worked hard I don't agree how they have been used and exploited for money but what I would like to see is when they retire them their is somewhere to be found for them to live the rest of their life what they have left to live in peace and tranquillity because they really deserve it after what they have had to endure not to have a death sentence.

Lynn C.
Lynn c.2 years ago