Judge Orders NYPD to Provide Records on Carriage Horses to ALDF

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on April 28, 2014

More great news for animals—in a hearing today, the New York Supreme Court sided with ALDF in an important case for New York’s carriage horses. Last fall, after being denied access to public records by the New York Police Department (NYPD) for over a year and a half, ALDF petitioned the New York Supreme Court to force NYPD to turn over public records regarding the horse-drawn carriage industry.


New York City carriage horse in traffic. (CC Dave Overcash)

In today’s hearing, Judge Shlomo Hagler agreed with ALDF regarding our right to public records under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL, which is similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act or FOIA), and reminded New York’s finest that transparency and an open government are values to be taken seriously. The judge was emphatic about the validity of ALDF’s concern about the treatment (and mistreatment) of horses in the carriage industry. NYPD was instructed to comply with the request in the broad terms it was written.

In fact, the judge ordered the NYPD to produce the documents within 45 days. The court indicated that NYPD’s position—first that they had no records, then that they had records but couldn’t share them with us, and today that they had records and could share them but ALDF had phrased our request poorly—was questionable. NYPD argued that they had no records because a horse getting hit by a car didn’t pertain to horse safety and welfare, but only to the car’s injuries. Like ALDF, the judge disagreed.

“If there was a phone call of abuse of a [carriage horse] then I believe it’s your duty to give that record over,” said Manhattan Supreme Justice Shlomo Hagler to the NYPD.

For more information, read about ALDF’s call to shut down New York’s carriage-horse industry.

15 thoughts on “Judge Orders NYPD to Provide Records on Carriage Horses to ALDF

  1. Brigitte St Jean says:

    Finally I am glad to hear the good news.

  2. ALL ANIMALS DESERVE TO BE TREATED HUMANLY!!! And these horses are no acception! Enough is enough!!!

  3. Diavolessa says:

    What will happen to the horses if the carriage trade is ended?

    1. Tara says:

      Most horses are sent to slaughter when they can no longer do the carriage rides. Some are lucky enough to be rescued. With the fame that shutting down the carriage industry has brought on, I have a feeling that there will be more horses rescued than ever before. Even so, as heart wrenching as it is to know that many may still be sent to slaughter, the bright side is knowing the cycle will end.

  4. Any activity that exploits animals for entertainment purposes and/or monetary gain needs to be closely monitored by a neutral third party to ensure the animals are being treated humanely. There needs to be regulations regarding the hours a horse works and weather conditions. Animal advocates are looking out for the interest of the animals involved. I personally do not agree with horses pulling carriages on busy streets. I cringe when I see them but I’m sure not all are mistreated. I don’t believe horses belong in the city next to.fast cars and the exhaust they must breath is unhealthy for them.

  5. Michael Gartner says:

    I can’t imagine choking on the exhaust, walking on asphalt and dealing with the horns and yelling and screaming during rush hour or simple traffic jams. Needs to stop!. Thank you.

  6. PATTI says:

    I agree all animals should be treated humanely and the carriages horses in NYC are treated better than most horses. Yes there have been a few accidents with the horses but compared to many other equestrian sports the percentage is very low.

  7. Anabel Salinas says:

    Records should be provided. No animal deserves to be tortured of abused for human pleasure. It’s inhumane and selfish – this has to stop!

  8. Bonnie Daut says:


    1. Brandon says:

      Yea, because it isn’t like horses weren’t a beast of burden and never pulled carriages in the preceding 4,000 years. Get over yourself. Yes, the horses deserve to be treated humanely and be properly taken care of. But the idea that using a horse to pull a carriage is inhumane is asinine at best.

  9. Mari Hill says:

    The practice of using carriage horses in this day and age is insane. Those poor animals are exposed to noises and fumes all day. I’m sure they are never given the proper care after they have worked 12-14 hour days. They would be placed in a sanctuary if retired from this business. I know there are groups waiting to take them into their care…Please consider putting an end to the Carriage Trade.

  10. Greice Monteiro says:

    Stop animal cruelty, please! All can invest in other sustainable/creative alternative.

  11. Regout dominique says:

    Political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote about the “dark times” that occur when generally accepted theories and societal laws become out of sync with human knowledge. We now find ourselves in such a time, when what we have so long believed about nonhumans — that they are unthinking machines designed solely for our exploitation — turns out to be scientifically bunk!

  12. Rhonda Prtty says:

    Horse slaughter in the US is illegal. But it is ok to ship a horse from us over the border to Canada or Mexico to saluter US horses in these country’s slaughter houses. Why are we alowing our horses to cross over for kill. We need to wake up.
    Rhonda Petty

  13. Kimberly Halverson says:

    I insist that there be animal overview committe, watch-dog group to enforce the judges decree! I am brutally ashamed of how this country treats horses when the U.S. was founded on the backs of hoses, plowing fields, etc. We still refer to cars in “horsepower” terms. They deserve better!!!! I am against these round-up of wild horses and ponies!! They break legs, separate families using helicopters to terrorize them!! SHAME ON OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICALS THAT FOR $ IN TEIR POCKET TO LOOK AWAY, IT’S A MARK AGAINST YOUR SOUL!!!!

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