New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.IV

The New York Times editorial board has vehemently decried Mayor Bill de Blasio’s upcoming legislation to ban carriage horses in New York, urging the City Council to vote down the bill.

Horse Nonsense From City Hall” reads the headline of the editorial, which suggests that the City Council give Mayor de Blasio “the opportunity to move on from the foolish campaign promise to shut down the industry, made last year to a small, loud and financially generous group of horse-rights advocates.”

Noting the lack of details about the ban, a campaign promise the mayor had pledged to to act on "on day one” of his term in office, the Times raised many questions that remain unanswered including:

“Why eliminate an entire class of Teamsters union jobs?”

“How will the horses escape slaughter?”

“What will happen to the stables, on coveted property on the West Side of Manhattan? (Not for nothing do people wonder why the force behind NYClass, the group pushing the anti-carriage crusade, is real estate developer Stephen Nislick.) And does this have anything to do with the $1 million ad campaign financed by NYClass to eliminate Mr. de Blasio’s main rival in the primary, then-Council Speaker (and carriage defender) Christine Quinn?”

“Why are no advocates talking about getting rid of Police Department horses, which have tougher jobs than carriage horses?”

“So many tough questions. One simple answer,” it concludes “Dump the bill. Keep the horses.”

A number of the city’s other newspapers have declared themselves to be strongly opposed to the ban, in particular the New York Daily News, which has been running a “Save Our Horses” campaign on the side of the industry and the 300 plus drivers whose livelihoods hang in the balance. 

Last week, when news emerged that the legislation would be introduced before the New Year, the Daily News called upon the City Council to “Reign Bill in” and published the phone numbers of the 25 undecided council members.