Animal rights activists are literally riding alongside carriages in New York urging tourists to take a free ride around Central Park in electric cars instead. Edita Birnkrant, an activist with a group called Empty the Carriages, yelled to a tourist, “We’re hoping that you’ll get out and take this instead of supporting animal abuse. This is such a cruel industry—our Mayor is trying to ban it, and there’s been so many accidents.”
Horse carriage driver states “They’ll try to tell customers that the animals are abused, or that the horses are working 14 hours a day, or that they’re not fed…all sorts of things.” This driver is not exactly excited about the harassment.
Another driver, Craig Shelton of Friends of NYC Carriage Horse feels upset at the activists as well. He states in an interview, “So when they tell that customer ‘get out, and don’t pay’, they’re not volunteering money to keep up the horse.” Basically, the activists are just slowing down the business by their attempts and not actually helping the animals by feeding them, and so forth.
Another study conducted by Western University concludes, “Carriage horses in New York City are less stressed than the people they pull around Central Park and horses that are out to pasture.”
The mayor’s 2013 campaign benefited from millions of dollars in donations from animal rights activists to try and stop the horse drawn carriages from operating. His efforts had little success. Lawmakers did not eliminte the industry and few changes were made.
Animal activists formed a line in front of the entrance of Central Park. Their efforts went unnoticed. The hansom cab rides are still in operation today.