a decent compromise on horses Letter

Dec 17 2015 | 03:01 AM

To the Editor:

I must respectfully but strongly disagree with readers chienblanc4sci and merleliz (Letters, Dec. 10) with respect to Mayor de Blasio’s proposed compromise on the horse and carriage issue. The former asks, “Somehow it’s not inhumane to allow 36 drivers to ‘abuse’ horses instead of 200?,” and the latter says that opponents of the industry have “harassed” it “without any actual abuse or neglect or mistreatment proven against them...”

The “abuse” is not about the stabling, but rather about (i) taking horses out when they should not be (which some drivers do), and (ii) requiring the horses to walk through NYC traffic. Since the carriages are only permitted within the confines of the park, putting the stables within the Park eliminates the latter problem entirely. And limiting the number of horses and drivers will make it much easier to “monitor” when the horses are being brought out; i.e., to enforce the existing regulations on times and temperatures.

Thus, while this compromise is not perfect (e.g., horses may still get “spooked” at times, causing property damage and/or injury), it is as close as any compromise is likely to get.

Ian Alterman

Upper West Side