American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2015 – Writing that horse caretakers take pride in protecting the health and safety of their animals and horse-drawn carriages are iconic guides to many American cities, the American Farm Bureau Federation has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to withdraw his proposed ban on historic horse-drawn carriages in New York City.
“This valued tradition allows people to connect with the horses and tour the city in a historic and unique way,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “New York City’s carriage horses have been an important asset to citizens and visitors throughout the years. Despite activist rhetoric that these horses are tortured and mistreated, they are in fact well cared for and valued.”
City horses, like their farm and ranch peers, generally live long, healthy lives. They receive regular examinations and treatment from veterinarians to maintain good health: The horses also get ample rest, including five weeks of vacation to the countryside each year. The carriage industry operates under strict safety guidelines and the watchful eye of both the city’s Department of Health and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Horse owners know their livelihoods depend on keeping their animals safe and healthy: They wouldn’t jeopardize that.
“New York City’s proposed ban isn’t coming from people who work with horses day-to-day,” Stallman said. “Their claims aren’t based on science or recommendations from veterinarians. In fact, they ignore the expertise of ranchers, livestock owners, and animal care professionals who work with animals every day and have been caring for these horses for centuries.”