New & Announcements


DOH Hearing – February 3, 2010   
125 Worth Street, Dept of Health

Horse-drawn Carriages Regulations

My name is Donny Moss.  I made the documentary film BLINDERS about the horse-drawn carriage trade.  I’m going to address three issues not covered in the proposed regulations but that are vitally important to the humane treatment of NYC’s carriage horses.

 1. Horses are grazing animals.  When you see horses on a pasture, they almost always have their heads down and are grazing. That’s what horses do. Does anyone from the DOH really believe that it’s humane to deprive horses of the chance to do what comes naturally to them for an hour or two each day?    

 2. Horses are herd animals who stick together on a pasture; they run around with their companions; they interact physically; they groom each other. They can’t do any of these things in NYC. They’re either hooked up to a carriage or confined to a stall. Does anyone from the DOH really believe it’s humane to deprive these herd animals of the chance to perform these basic activities that are so fundamental to a horse?      

 3. Horses are prey animals.  They’re not predators.  And, as prey animals, they have an instinct to flee when spooked.    The blinders, which partially blind them, keep out some of the stimuli, but they didn’t prevent Smoothie from crashing into a tree and dying after being spooked by a drum; they didn’t prevent Spotty from crashing into a car and dying near the Lincoln Tunnel; and they’re not going to prevent future deadly accidents.  Does anyone from the DOH really believe that it’s humane to subject horses these stimuli and to put them in harm’s way every day– just so that people can take a 20-minute carriage ride?      

If a horse spooks and a young child – who has no seatbelt and no helmet – falls out of a moving carriage onto the street, who from the DOH is going to look the parents in the eye and say:  “We were made aware of the risks over and over, but we chose quaintness over safety. We’re sorry for your loss.” 

On a final note, the thousands of people around the world who have spoken out about the inhumane treatment of NYC’s carriage horses aren’t asking for anything extraordinary.  On the contrary, we’re asking you to provide these animals with their most basic needs: a pasture for daily turn out where they can graze, interact and do what comes naturally to a horse and a humane and safe environment.   

Donny Moss

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007