photo © Henrique Vicente
To many New Yorkers, the horse drawn carriages of Central Park are the quintessential tourist trap. But what they also represent is simple animal cruelty. Over the last six weeks, three exhausted carriage horses have collapsed in front of the very tourists that drive the industry.
Overworked and exhausted, the third horse tumbled in the intersection of 59th Street and Central Park South this past Sunday. The horse was then apparently taken back to its stable to be looked at by a veterinarian. Last Friday, another horse got his leg entangled in the carriage he was pulling, resulting in a fall and injury. The fallen horse previous to these two was not as lucky.
On October 23rd, a Central Park horse, named Charlie, fell and died en route to the park. An autopsy paid for by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed that the horse had a stomach ulcer and a fractured tooth, both a constant cause of pain. The examining doctor, Pamela Corey, first made a statement through the ASPCA, claiming that Charlie may have been abused, only to later retract the statement. She was later fired for the misinformation.
The recent fallen horses have enraged animal rights activists, who have been calling the tradition of the Central Park horse drawn carriages to be archaic for years. A city bill suggesting replacing the horses with vintage replica electric cars has been suggested, with the novelty paralleling carriages, and therefore maintaining the tourist demand.
Via Daily Mail