The collapse of a horse-drawn carriage in downtown New York during rush hour has sparked calls for an antiquated transportation ban.
Onlookers were horrified to see a horse-drawn carriage collapsed and buckled its knee-fastener on 45th Street and 9th Avenue on Wednesday night.
Video shared online shows the driver shouting at the animal to “get up” and slapping it on the back. He also appeared to pull the reins while those around him urged him to stop.
“What if I slap you around like that, man?” a witness asked the driver, New York Post reported. Another added: “Stop slapping him.”
Another witness told reporters the horse remained on 45 St and 9 for about an hour before receiving veterinary care.
Others said the horse was seen trying to lick water in the street after spilling a bowl of water set down by New York Police Department officers who responded at the scene.
Meanwhile, another video shows the horse taking a dip in the water and, according to reports, getting an injection of adrenaline so it can finally stand.
The episode relaunched calls for a citywide vehicle ban, which had previously been petitioned by groups including New Yorkers for Clean, Liveable and Safe Streets ( NYCLASS).
Its CEO, Edita Birnkrant said in a statement to Daily mail: “How many more incidents like this do we need? This is clearly animal abuse and it must be stopped. ‘
City councilors are currently considering proposals to ban horse-drawn carriages and replace them with trams, which other global cities have introduced.
“It’s time for us to replace horses with modern technology,” said Nathan Semmel, a campaigner for Animal Rights Vote. Post. “Cities can provide better benefits for horses and drivers.”
The animal rights campaigner continued: “These horses have suffered for many years. There is nothing romantic about seeing a horse fighting for its life lying on the ground.”
NYCLASS, which has long campaigned for the removal of carriage horses, has documented a number of similar incidents. including one on August 2 in which an interested bystander had distorted insults thrown at them.
A spokesman for the Transport Workers’ Union that represents New York carriage riders told news outlets: “We thank everyone for their interest in Ryder, one of our beloved freight horses. of Central Park”.
Tony Utano, president of the Local 10 Transport Workers Association, said the horse that fell was mentally ill and critics were wrong to “rush to judge our horses”.
“Veterans believe Ryder has EPM, a neurological disease caused by pouched stools,” he said. “This is another example of why people shouldn’t be too quick to judge our horses or the blue-collar men and women who choose to work with them and care for them.”
In 2021, Chicago became the largest city in the US to begin banning horse-drawn carriages after a campaign by the Chicago Animal Alliance (CAA) group with the support of animal rights charity PETA.
Chicago police issued 334 citations to top transportation operators in the year before the ban went into effect, with drivers allegedly working on horses in high temperatures and frequently exceeding the allotted time. permission.
PETA speak on Wednesday’s incident in New York City: “Horses don’t belong in big cities where they’re often in danger because of cars, people, weather, etc.”
The Independent contacted the Transport Workers Union for further comments.