Hearing Set in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Case

Posted on April 25, 2014

Petition Against NYPD for Withholding Records Moves Forward in New York Supreme Court

For immediate release:

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF


Carriage horse collapsed in the streets of New York City.

NEW YORK — On Monday, April 28, the New York Supreme Court will hold a hearing in the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) case against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for refusing to turn over public records regarding the city’s controversial horse-carriage industry. In December, 2013, ALDF filed a petition asking the court to force the NYPD to share public records as part of a long-term investigation of the horse carriage industry. Beginning October, 2012, ALDF has filed numerous public records requests under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)—the NY state equivalent of the federal Freedom of Information Act. Despite clear evidence of ongoing violations, accidents, and injuries, the NYPD claimed for months that it had no records, although the NYPD is obligated to enforce such regulations under the city health code and state anti-cruelty codes. In February, 2014, under threat of litigation, the NYPD finally admitted it does have records but is unwilling to share them—claiming the records are exempt pursuant to New York’s code of criminal procedure § 160.50. At the hearing, Judge Hagler will review the records and determine whether the NYPD has violated the law. Winston & Strawn is providing pro bono legal assistance for ALDF.

When: Monday, April 28 at 10:00 am.

Where: New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre Street, Room 631.

On April 23, a carriage horse was injured in an accident near the Plaza hotel. A bus reportedly startled the horse, who fell onto the sidewalk and was pinned to the ground by the carriage. New York carriage horses are known to be startled at the slightest provocation, which has caused horses to bolt into traffic and seriously injure (sometimes fatally) themselves or nearby humans. Because of these hazards, Mayor de Blasio has vowed to shut down the industry.

“The NYPD is essentially on trial for refusing to adhere to the law—meanwhile, horses have been seriously injured, like we’ve seen this week,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The public deserves to see NYPD’s records of just how many problems result from the inhumane industry of urban horse-drawn carriages.”

Copies of the petition are available upon request.

21 thoughts on “Hearing Set in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Case

  1. Lori Hessinger Benefiel says:

    Stop with this horse practice,I thought they did,animal s in hot days ,ban these carrage rides,maybe this will force a ban ,I hope so

  2. Christine says:

    Stop this cruel, inhumane practice. No more horse drawn carriages in New York!

  3. Tena Willis says:

    To use horses in carriages these days in heavy traffic is an accident waiting to happen. I can not believe in the 2014 that this is considered acceptable. Animals these days suffer so much at the hands of humans – they have no voice to say no so we have to do it for them. Please stop this inhumane use of horses

  4. Linda Webb says:

    This goes on in San Antonio, TX. too….it is VERY hot and humid down there and they have those horses out every day around the Alamo. I bet New Orleans has them too.

    This practice has to stop. If you want to find articles about the horses and their injuries, check out the news stations and news papers. Plenty of articles in there.

    1. Jeanne O'Dell says:

      Recently in New Orleans a horse was spooked and took of. Driver had no control. Their were also customers in the carriage.You can Google the story.

  5. Michele Poole says:

    Horses should not be subjected to the dangers and stress of being in close contact with traffic and the associated noise that goes long with it. In addition, extreme weather conditions and the stress of large groups of people is extremely hard on horses both physically and mentally. This is an archaic practice that needs to be outlawed.

  6. deborah tyler says:

    Time to retire these horses to a loving sanctusry and close the industry down.

  7. Teresa says:

    Very glad this is happening now as the Daily News is publishing the carriage industry propaganda every single day, has a petition to “save the horses” (which is ironic) and is even giving out bumper stickers with that phrase to the public! This from a newspaper! What has happened to journalistic ethics or integrity.

  8. elaine garrod says:

    This archaic practice, which put horses at unnecessary risk of harm and suffering, has no place in the modern world. Ban it!

  9. Augusta Vargas says:

    I’m disgusted at the thought of this age old animal slavery wich is powered by none other than greed!
    We reap what we sew and if we dont put an end to this cruelty,we deserve what comes around.

  10. mat kanno says:

    Animal cruelty should be a 10 year to life federal crime!

  11. Jennifer says:

    Please stop this practice. It is not only inhumane but COMPLETELY unnecessary!!! This is 2014 and this should BE BANNED!!!! Please, please do so.

  12. Deborah Degnan says:

    There are better alternatives than to using horse-drawn carriages in order to show guests the beauty of New York City. I hope you will consider the welfare of these beautiful creatures and decide that there truly is a better way.

  13. Chuck LaMark says:

    It is time for New York City to stop abusing horses. Stop the carriage rides. Everything about a big city like New York is dangerous for a horse; people, cars, smog, heat and hard, uneven pavement.

  14. Barbara Kennedy says:

    Its Wrong to make those horses go thru all that traffic … I would be a nervous wreck myself…the horse and carriage was in another time era … not today ….times change … its time to put the horse and carriage to rest Thank You

  15. sharon williams says:

    please stop this, in this day and age it is uncalled for and should not be happening stop

  16. Gumboz1953 says:

    There are carriage horses in my hometown, New Orleans. You can walk ANYWHERE in the French Quarter in a matter of minutes. Anything else of interest to tourists is accessible via the streetcars. Tourists can get off their fat behinds and WALK.

  17. Holly Allsion VH says:

    No comment necessary. Ban it. Period.

  18. John Michael Iannucci says:

    It’s about time! NYC should stick to cars & let the animals alone! It’s dangerous for the horses to be in that traffic.

  19. clara says:


  20. Karen says:

    The carriage industry needs to be stopped. The only time i would be ok with horse drawn carriages are special events like weddings, parades, and funerals.

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