Undercover footage released today by national nonprofit Last Chance for Animals (LCA) exposed multiple and routine violations of New York City carriage horse laws and regulations.

The video, narrated by Emmy award-winning actress Edie Falco, is the result of an LCA investigation showing New York City carriage horses operating in dangerous traffic conditions, deprived of access to water, and forced to work while exhibiting signs of lameness.

Last Chance for Animals has filed complaints with the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Department of Transportation, Department of Consumer Affairs and the ASPCA, all of which are responsible for overseeing and enforcing New York City’s carriage horse laws and regulations. The complaints detail numerous violations that jeopardize public safety and horse welfare, including:
• horses left unattended and untethered on the “hack line” surrounding Central Park
• horses tethered in their stalls at night on leads that prevent their free access to food and water
• drivers making U-turns, driving the wrong way down one-way streets, and running red lights
• one driver refusing to let his horse have access to water during a ride when the city temperature was above 80 degrees
• one horse, who showed signs of lameness, forced to pull his carriage back to the stables and then put back to work without being seen by a veterinarian

To view the undercover video, click here.

“One of the major contributions to the cruelty of NYC carriage horse husbandry is their incarceration in small stalls with no daily ‘turn-out’ in a paddock with a compatible herd mate, violating both physical and behavioral needs,” said Dr. Holly Cheever, vice president of the New York State Humane Association, after reviewing the evidence compiled by LCA. “Given the overall condition of the animals, quality of the ancient stabling, and hazards of their urban lives makes this tourist industry inherently cruel, in my professional opinion.”

Cheever, Falco and LCA are urging New York City council members to vote in favor of Intro 573, which would phase out horse drawn carriages and give drivers a more humane and sustainable future operating clean and efficient electric cabs.

“LCA’s investigation into New York’s carriage horse industry shows the monotony and hardship that these horses endure,” said Adam Wilson, Director of Investigations at LCA. “The blatant disregard for animal welfare and public safety by carriage drivers puts all New Yorkers and tourists at risk, highlighting the need for swift passage of Intro 573 to ban this cruel trade.”

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation’s pioneer animal advocacy organizations. Working internationally, LCA’s Sam Simon Special Investigations Unit documents abuse in research labs, puppy mills, factory farms, and the entertainment industry, and works with prosecutors to enforce animal cruelty laws. LCA’s educational and public outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for the animals in their own communities.

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