One alternative to the carriage horse industry is electric cars, which would still please tourists and provide jobs. While the New York City Council would have to pass prototype legislation and pre-empt the Central Park Conservancy's electric car ban, PETA is one group that supports the transition. Still, some suggest that the potential money in electric cars is behind Bill de Blasio's anti-carriage stance. Real estate tycoon Steven Nislick, founder of the anti-carriage group, NYCLASS, is a donor to the de Blasio campaign. Meanwhile Quinn has thus far blocked electric cars.
As the primary approaches, animal advocates are not letting up on Quinn. "She is the driving force in actively suppressing any humane and progressive legislation that would improve the lives of animals in New York," says Edita Birnkrant.
Nor are they letting up on the carriage horse industry. "There will never be a humane carriage industry," says Dr. Cheever. "Regulation has been tried and does not work."
Could carriage horses be a dark horse effect in the Mayoral primary? Perhaps. Animal cruelty issues are emotional and tend to override voters' other affiliations--whether Democrat, LGBT or feminist. Over 50 years ago, when the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act was passed, President Eisenhower said, "If I depended on my mail, I would think humane slaughter is the only thing anyone is interested in."
Robert Wilbur is a New York City based writer whose work has appeared in legal and scientific publications. Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago based writer and author of the FDA expose, Born with a Junk Food Deficiency.
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