Central Park horses could be slaughtered without carriage industry, Bloomberg warns

Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Should horse-drawn carriages be banned as both leading mayoral candidates would like, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he assumes all the animals will die.
Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Should horse-drawn carriages be banned as both leading mayoral candidates would like, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he assumes all the animals will die. 

“If you do that, yeah, I assume all the horses will go to slaughter,” Bloomberg said Tuesday when asked about the effects of shutting down the industry, including the horses being slaughtered.

The mayor said that even if enough funds are raised to care for the animals at sanctuaries, they will only take up space and cause the deaths of other horses.

“That’s just obviously what’s going to happen if they go ahead,” the mayor said.

Both Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota support a bill before the City Council banning the practice, but Bloomberg said that the move would hurt horses and carriage drivers.

“These horses work, like you, like me. There’s a few hundred people that work in this industry who support their families based on it,” he said.

The industry is well-regulated, the mayor said. City law mandates the horses work no more than nine hours at a time, be covered with blankets in the winter, not work in temperatures over 90 degrees and have five weeks of vacation a year.

Allie Feldman, executive director of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, or NYCLASS, said the anti-carriage group is “committed” to finding the funds to house more than 200 horses in the industry. (However, as the New York Daily News reported, Feldman would not provide specifics on how the money might be obtained.)

“Mayor Bloomberg is fear-mongering and being completely disingenuous in suggesting that there would be any slaughter of horses associated with the ending of the abusive horse carriage industry,” Feldman said.

But Bloomberg said he’s hoping New Yorkers will realize “there’s nothing really wrong” with the industry. People do, after all, use animals for a variety of things, he said.

“We keep animals as pets. We slaughter animals for food,” the mayor said. “We use animals and have always used animals to help us feed ourselves and our families. To work. We use animals in the military, we use animals for peaceful purposes.”

Though Bloomberg added that visitors and New Yorkers “seem to enjoy” the carriages, he said he’s only been on one or two rides himself.

“Not in the last 20 years,” the mayor said when asked if he’s ever taken a horse-drawn trip. “Once for sure. I’ve been living here since 1966, so it’s been a long time and certainly not recently.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.