Press Release

Animal Wellness Calls on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to Consider Carriage Horse Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio requesting that he revisit and advance a new policy banning carriage horses in the nation’s largest metropolis. The call follows a horrific incident involving a twelve-year-old mare named Aisha on Saturday in Central Park that a pedicab driver caught on video. The mare was euthanized later that day, and protestors gathered in Central Park on Sunday following the incident.

“Forcing horses to pull more than a thousand pounds day and night on asphalt pavement amidst loud noises, dense traffic, and an array of flashing lights is archaic and inhumane, said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a lifelong horseman. “Mayor de Blasio, and the City Council should swiftly ban horse-drawn carriages and make room for modernized methods of tourist transportation. The animal protection movement ignited 150 years ago over the abuse of carriage horses, and it’s ludicrous to allow history to repeat itself in this continuous loop around Central Park.”

In 2018, de Blasio directed his administration to move the Central Park location where horse carriages wait for passengers to five boarding areas within the park. By doing so, the mayor fell well short of fulfilling a 2013 campaign promise, when he vowed to ban the carriages altogether on his first day in office. Mayor de Blasio has been a champion on numerous animal protection initiatives and revisiting a ban on carriage horses would add to that record and clear Central Park and the streets for a cruelty free path forward.

The death of the horse that occurred this past Saturday has sparked equine protection advocates across America to weigh-in on the issue, and numerous national media outlets including People Magazine to elevate the issue to the national stage.

Here’s a link to the letter that was sent this morning.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Animal Wellness Foundation is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.