The horse named Aisha had to be put down and it has now prompted outrage among animal activists. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio has called for an investigation.
Central Park is one of the main tourist attractions in New York City. One stroll around the park and you get to see couples taking horse rides through the alleys. Over the weekend, shocking footage of a carriage horse dragging her hind legs before collapsing on the ground have been circulating on social media. The horse, named Aisha, had to be euthanized after she suffered a cardiac arrest, fell to the ground and just couldn't get up again, reports Daily Mail. Aisha's death has now prompted outrage among animal activists, reports People, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also called for an investigation.
“The horse showed sudden signs of distress around 12:30 pm on Saturday after doing a single ride and then waiting for approximately an hour and a half at the 7th Ave carriage stand,” a spokesperson for the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park said in a statement to NBC New York. “She progressively and rapidly weakened in her hind end and unexpectedly collapsed,” the spokesperson continued, adding that a veterinarian and the horse’s owner then “made the difficult but humane decision to put her to sleep” following cardiac complications. "Medical emergencies can happen to the healthiest horses, receiving the best, highly-regulated care,” the organization added in a statement to WABC.
DISTURBING: A carriage horse named "Aisha" is seen collapsing in New York City's Central Park. She was later euthanized and her death reignited calls to ban horse carriages in the city https://t.co/x1BIChhnxQ pic.twitter.com/dSVf9klLsH— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 2, 2020
Local advocacy group NYCLASS, known for its frequent protests against the treatment of these carriage horses and their working conditions, has spoken up about Aisha's death. “This video is just the latest disturbing piece of evidence we’ve seen showing how poorly these horses are treated and what they go through,” NYCLASS executive director Edita Birnkrant said. “This is not tourism,” she added, as she called for a ban on the horse-drawn carriage industry. “This is abuse.” Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke out about the incident. In 2013, during his campaign, he had promised to put an end to these horse-drawn carriages.
Watching video of the dying carriage horse again, disgusted this is happening in our city. Why are these poor animals still being forced to work on the streets of America’s largest city so a few humans can profit? This needs to end. When laws condone the inhumane, change them!— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 2, 2020
“The video of a horse collapsing and dying in Central Park yesterday is painful and says so much about a persistent problem,” he wrote on Twitter, noting that an investigation is ongoing. “We’ve made real progress in animal welfare but we must go further. The NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad is on the case and WILL get answers.” Aisha's death has also resulted in several national animal welfare organizations to speak up. “Mayor DeBlasio should instruct the NYPD to swiftly investigate this case. At a minimum, the driver’s license should be immediately suspended until an investigation has been completed,” Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, said in a statement.
It happens all the time for those saying “one death”. It’s pure animal abuse, being out in all weather, bleeding mouths from the reigns, underfed/watered and are forced to keep going. It’s sick and cruel.— PhillyAdopt (@phillyadopt) March 2, 2020
He added: “Working horses on slippery asphalt for long periods of time without the proper care and nourishment is inexcusable. The animal protection movement in America ignited 150 years ago over the issue of carriage horse abuse, yet the City of New York continues to allow it to persist today. The American people will no longer tolerate these incidents in our modern-day society – this isn’t 1820, it’s 2020.” Meanwhile, Christina Hansen, a spokesperson for the NYC carriage industry, said, "Animal rights extremists are already exploiting this tragedy to further their anti-horse agenda during our time of grief and shock."
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY. THEY ABUSE AND KILL HORSES IN RACING AND DO THIS IN THE PARKS. leave these horses alone to live their lives. We don't need them with the racing or carriage. This horse deserved a better life— Verified 1 Good Guy! (@LAmaleCA) March 3, 2020
"This medical emergency appears to be something that could happen to any horse, any time, anywhere, for any number of reasons, under a wide variety of conditions." The news of Aisha's death left several people outraged. Lila Ruiz Ambrosio wrote: Can everyone boycott and not support this type of animal abuse by not spending your money on carriage rides that is a start ! This is 2020 no one needs to be pulled around by a horse !!!!!! Sylvia Silvestri RN added: It is inhumane and disgusting that these poor horses have to be worked like this!!!! Had I been there and witnessed this happening I would have lost my mind on whoever the owner is...please boycott this!!!!! So angry that this is still happening!
This is disgusting. I am New Yorker and I hate this practice of using carriage horses. It needs to stop!!! It’s inhumane and vile! Shame on you NY for still allowing this we are better than this or am I wrong ?— VeredK (@VeredK1) March 3, 2020