SALEM TOWNSHIP — Protesters in New York City have drawn attention to the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park.
They say the age-old tradition is inhumane and want the city’s new mayor to ban the use of horses for carriage rides.
At Happy Trails Stables near Hamlin, a couple was at the end of a ride on horseback.
The horses they were riding are just a few of the 30 or so horses owned by the stables and used for everything from riding horseback to carriage rides like this weekend in Waymart.
Now, horse-drawn carriage rides have come under fire from animal rights protesters in New York City.
After a recent incident where a horse collapsed, protesters continued the push to have the city’s new mayor ban the use of horses for carriages.
“We’ve had horses and used them throughout our entire history, they’re great animals and creatures, i don’t think there’s any problem with that whatsoever,” said Justin Tessen of Lancaster.
Tessen said the horse-drawn carriages are a tourist attraction, and have been for a long time.
The owners of Happy Trails Stables feel the same way and said there’s nothing wrong with using horses for carriage rides through and around Central Park.
“They enjoy it, the more active they are the longer they live,” said Randy Bennett.
Activists in New York claim the horses are in inhumane conditions, exploited for profit and living and working in a grueling New York City in the 21st century, not 20th century.
“It’s unsafe for them, inhumane, and it puts public safety in jeopardy,” said Donny Moss, director of Blinders, a documentary about the horse-drawn carriage tradition he claims is coming to an end.
“People are waiting and watching for the mayor to take action,” he said.
New York’s mayor would have to get the support of city council to put a stop to horses pulling carriages.