Exclusive: Horse Manure Becoming An Epidemic In And Around Central Park

Animals' Diapers Not Doing The Job; Group Takes Its Case To Health Dept.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s a smelly problem that New York City apparently doesn’t want a whiff of – horse manure left by carriage horses has some people furious.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer found it in crosswalks along Central Park South, where pedestrians and bicyclists had to navigate around it, and all over the Central Park roadway, where many find it — you should pardon the term — a nagging problem. There are many names for it, but horse manure is the most polite. It’s left by carriage horses.

“The dust, the dirt, the smell … it makes it hard to walk, run, do anything out here,” Manhattan resident Asher Lipman said. “It’s terrible. I’m glad you’re doing something about it.”

Lipman is a runner, but everyone who uses the park has to cope with it. It’s also hard on the pedi-cab drivers.

“It’s disgusting. Smell very bad. Make the whole park smell very bad,” Harlem resident Aziz Gassambe said.

“The smell is not good,” added Ridgewood resident and pedi-cab driver Reysel Goru.

And here’s an interesting fact: every day the 68 carriage horses on the street produce 680 pounds of droppings, and not all of it is caught by the so-called diapers attached to the carriage behind the horse.

However, drivers defend it as just part of the “charm” of the popular tourist attraction that’s been around since 1861. They say they do try to clean up after themselves.

“We have diapers on the back of the carriage. We have a cleaning crew seven days a week. We asked the city if we could put stuff down for the odor and the city won’t let us do that,” said Ian McKeever of Shamrock Stables.

The group “New Yorkers for Livable and Safe Streets” said the manure is just one reason the horse carriages should be replaced by electric cars.

“Also we’ve heard from residents along Central Park West and Central Park South especially in the summer time when the sun is roasting down on the manure who really feel like it’s a quality of life issue,” Carly Knudson said.

The Health Department was monumentally unmoved by the issue, arguing that horse manure is not a health issue, unless people consume it.

Some argue that if the city gives out tickets to dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets it should ticket horse carriage drivers.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
Comments

One Comment

  1. Just Wow says:

    Boy does Marcia Kramer miss Anthony Weiner. Horse manure? Hows the “investigative journalism” going Marcia?

  2. Larry Mayer says:

    They are saying this is an exclusive report. Guess that means they got the scoop on poop. Congratulations, CBS.

  3. Kelly A. says:

    Sheesh, there have to be more important subjects to argue about than horse manure. I saw an article on how the slides in the playgrounds are getting too hot in the summer sun and might possibly burn children. SHEESH…the world is not a sterile place, NYC is not a clean and sterile city! Slides get hot in the sun and horses poop when they walk. Get over it. Look at the people protesting the carriages and explain to them that there are bigger issues in the world. Maybe when Ms. Forel gets rid of the carriages she can get a start on getting rid of the playgrounds…God forbid someone steps on a little horse poo or burns their delicate tush on a hot slide. While we’re at it, maybe someone can make Marcia write some real news.

  4. Jason Tuck says:

    This is an embarassing story to post on a news website. To think that a reporter wasted the Mayor’s time with such an idiotic question and exchange is disturbing considering the current state of the world. Any reporter who wastes her time with nonsense like this should be fired.

  5. Elizabeth Forel says:

    this business has NOT BEEN AROUND SINCE 1861. That is a fabrication to make it seem that they have a long “history.” . Don’t fall for it. In the 1800s there were no cars and everyone used horses to get around. The present tourist medallion system has been around since the late 1940s. Mayor William O’Dwyer doled out medallions to his friends.

    The area around Central Park South stinks because the urine and manure have permeated the asphalt over the years – it is a permanent smell. But don’t blame the horses. They are in a very unnatural environment with a horse diaper attached to their rear to catch poop — each time the carriage turns, the poop falls out. And for some there is an attempt to control the urine output of the horses by limiting the water intake.

    The horses have a bad smell because their hide picks up th stink of their stables (dirty ?) just like your hair would pick up a smell of cigarette smoke. Horses, by nature, are very clean animals. Well managed and clean stables – those that take care of mucking manure and controlling the urine smell – don’t have this stink.

    It is time for the City of NY to stop pandering to this industry that the majority of people do not want. There is a proposal on the table now to create a new industry with vintage replica electric cars – an opportunity for good jobs for the carriage industry and yet they are refusing.

    When most people lose their jobs, there isn’t anything in the wings waiting to save them. This time there is. But i doubt this offer will be on the table for ever.

    What about those two stables on 37th and 38th St? – They are in the line of fire of new development on the far west side.

    It is time. We all want to enjoy the park and it is not easy with the smell and the actual manure droppings.

    Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
    http://www.banhdc.org

    1. Eva Hughes says:

      Miss Forel seems to be going for a record in the number of lies and/or misinformation in one post.
      EF says: “this business has NOT BEEN AROUND SINCE 1861. That is a fabrication to make it seem that they have a long “history.” ”
      FACT: Hiring carriages for the specific purpose of touring Central Park indeed DID begin when Central Park opened in the 1860s.. I happen to OWN an original copy of one of the tourist flyers printed back then which proves this, and there is another on display at the Arsenal::http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2499821377075&set=a.1401553841073.2058175.1299148621&type=1&theater

      EF says: “The present tourist medallion system has been around since the late 1940s. Mayor William O’Dwyer doled out medallions to his friends.”
      FACT: In the 1940s, the city decided to LIMIT the number of hansom cab medallions to 68. Mayor O’Dwyer had nothing to do with it to my knowledge – got any proof of that, EF, or is it just another construct of your fevered imagination?

      EF says: “The area around Central Park South stinks because the urine and manure have permeated the asphalt over the years – it is a permanent smell.” FACT: The streets are REPAVED every few years. (This one is so absurd I feel silly answering it.)

      EF says: “with a horse diaper attached to their rear to catch poop ”
      FACT: By NYC LAW, the manure catcher may NOT be attached to the horse in any way. The device is attached to the CARRIAGE.

      EF says: “each time the carriage turns, the poop falls out.”
      FACT: With all the time EF spends standing on 59th St protesting the carriages, you’d think her power of observation would be a little more finely tuned. The manure catchers are attached HORIZONTALLY, behind the horse – they do not move independently. They are attached to the shafts, which move WITH the horse, so that they move whichever way the horse does. Once manure goes in, there is NO WAY it can “fall out.” The small quantity of manure which DOES fall on the road is that which MISSES the diaper completely upon exiting the horse😀

      EF says: And for some there is an attempt to control the urine output of the horses by limiting the water intake.
      FACT: This is a perennial favorite offered up by the humaniacs, with absolutely ZERO proof. Horses MUST have water to LIVE, like any other animal; unlike most other animals, they need to be watered in specific ways in order to avoid digestive disruptions and other maladies peculiar to equines. NO CARRIAGE DRIVER would risk illness in his horse by denying him water! This is one of the more bizarre accusations, and I say – PROVE IT!

      Ef says: “The horses have a bad smell because their hide picks up th stink of their stables (dirty ?) just like your hair would pick up a smell of cigarette smoke.”
      FACT: Each and every carriage horse lives in a stable with a box stall with bedding that is changed EVERYDAY by 24/7 stablemen. They are also groomed everyday, and bathed regularly.

      EF says: Horses, by nature, are very clean animals
      FACT – Yes, I often find my horse licking himself like a cat, and gingerly stepping over his road apples. Obviously Forel has never seen horses rolling in mud or their own manure) All I can say to this one is — LOL!

      EF says:” It is time for the City of NY to stop pandering to this industry that the majority of people do not want. There is a proposal on the table now to create a new industry with vintage replica electric cars – an opportunity for good jobs for the carriage industry and yet they are refusing.”
      FACT: The electric car proposal is a real estate scheme and a vanity project by the CEO of Edison Properties. EF not only KNOWS this, but has raged against this person after she was snubbed by him. Go read her FB page. In addition, this is AMERICA — nobody is “replacing” OUR business with theirs, without our say so. And we don;t say so.

      Ef says:” What about those two stables on 37th and 38th St? – They are in the line of fire of new development on the far west side. ”
      FACT: EF is worried about things which are none of her business – if those stables go under or close up or whatever, what is it to her?

      EF says: It is time. We all want to enjoy the park and it is not easy with the smell and the actual manure droppings.
      FACT: People who claim to like horses don’t object to their smell. As a matter of fact, many people claim to enjoy it. It is manure, not dog feces. Get a grip, and quit grasping at straws.

      1. Laura says:

        Whoever you are Eva, nice post. Good to see someone with an educated opinion.

    2. Laura says:

      Horses are “by nature” very clean animals? Wow. Someone’s never had to groom a horse. Mine like to roll on the ground, and, if there is 1 pile of manure in a clean stall, they’ll always pick that spot to lay down.

  6. Brett Slater says:

    Its appalling the way the Mayor dismissed this issue. What about the cost to repair the 8″ ruts left in the asphalt along 59th Street and Park Drive North by the carriage wheels and the horse hooves? The damage to the curbs? The stench and droppings from the pigeons drawn by the horse feed? How about the traffic disruptions caused by the carriage commute from the W30s to CP, and the driver’s blatant disregard of traffic signals, uturns, and oncoming traffic? These are all significant issues the Mayor laughed off in a flippant manner as if it were beneath him. Let the horses operate on E79th street for a month and see what happens then…I’ll bet they would be severely regulated. Why isnt the ASPCA forcing this activity to take place in an area limited to CP so that the horses arent traumatized by vehicular traffic??? Mr. Mayor, wake up! You are obligated to address all issues of the city, not just ones which affect you personally!

  7. bdea says:

    horse poop is nothing but chewed up grass.. does not compare to human or dog feces. Benjamin Franklin complained of the NOISE of the iron shoes on horses, the carts and the carriages making city living difficult. What would he say today? He certainly would not be complaining about the road apples.

  8. Tomas Green says:

    This is New York City, not some backwards village. Having feces all over the place is unsanitary and plain disgusting. We don’t allow homeless people and dog walkers to leave their excrement on the ground, why should horse drivers get special treatment?

  9. Marcel Regensburg says:

    Marcia! Get a life! Really? Political Reporter?

  10. Chelsea K. says:

    Studies show that children exposed to animal and animals feces from domestic “barn yard” animals have stronger immune systems and are less likely to develop asthma and autoimmune disorders. Horse manure is only a hazard in the winter when it freezes solid, and in that case it poses a danger to pedestrians, cyclists and the horses themselves. The carriage industry does a remarkable job keeping central park clean.

    Those who argue that NYC carriage horses are abused are delusional. They like to say things like “they are breathing the fumes from the cars,” or “they are kept in cramped quarters.” If this is the case, then why isn’t it child abuse to bring your infant or toddler outside at rush hour? Why is it okay to keep a Border Collie in an apartment and only take it for two 10 minute walks a day?

    Horses are a traditional and historic part of NYC, they belong there as much as any person belongs there. They built the city and entire sanitation system was designed and created to accommodate them; there is NO REASON it should not continue to do so.

  11. Vik says:

    Oh Really? Well, what about all the human excrement, urine, body fluids lining a public space downtown? At least horses are animals and don’t know what they’re doing. Get over it!!!!!

  12. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  13. stopthisnonsense says:

    it is a health hazard, i seen little kids step on the horse poop and touch their shoes while the parents were obvious. not to mention all smell is horrible. It sticks with you all day.

  14. Sally B. says:

    Wait until the Percherons owned and ridden by the NYC Parks Enforcement Patrol move into thier new Central Park stable. They cannot and will not be wearing “diapers” as they patrol the park.

    Quality of life issue? What a joke- there is no health hazard here – as the health department stated.

  15. james mc daid says:

    Let me see,its ok for humans to desroy two city parks with human fetish but Marcia and her elk are worried about horse manure,PATHETIC.

    1. taybor says:

      At least her elk aren’t pooping in the park. Maybe her ilk are.

  16. NYCLASS says:

    Please visit http://www.stophorseabuse.com for the truth on how carriage horses are treated.

  17. Jean Bird says:

    Just another reason these horses that work and live in disgraceful condition should be replaced with electric cars. I’m sure the horses would be more than happy. I personally don’t have a problem with horse manure, I grew up with it but I do have a problem with the way these horses are treated. It may look very nice and everyone thinks they are cared for but the truth is they ARE NOT.

    1. Christine says:

      The Amish horses leave their “messages” all over towns in northern N.Y. It is everywhere and it’s just accepted, I guess. The manure is bad but the way they treat their horses seems worse to me. The things I have seen……:o(

    2. Would you care to back up that claim, Jean, with some facts? All the carriage horses I have seen both in the stables and at work have been relaxed, in good weight, and obviously cared for. http://www.equiculture.org/nyc-position-statement.aspx

  18. Anthony says:

    Only Ch2 news can give us a story on horse manure during the 6pm newscast ,when most people are eating dinner. Great timing.

  19. bullett says:

    Collect it and spread it around the bushes and flowers.

  20. Long Islander says:

    the horses smell better than most of the people living in New York City. They also produce a lot less trash and waste. If these so called people dont like it, move!

    1. Jean Bird says:

      Yes I’m sure they do, the smell of horses is good.

  21. Dennis Barton says:

    Really, come on, I am sick and tired of runners and bikers complaining on how much they are inconvenienced. Cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.

  22. j says:

    Speaking of manure…

    The DEA have been stealing drugs from evidence lockup and reselling them. It has become a popular way in the Department of Justice’s DEA to make extra money.
    They also steal from suspects for which they have created fabricated or coerced heresay evidence.
    With some of the DEA suffering under mountains of credit card debt they have started to think outside the box.

  23. JOEY-C says:

    Hay Wall Street Protesters: W#e have a job for you and you mommie and Daddy—CLEAN UP THE HORSE S–T. MILLIONAIRS PAY WELL

    1. Vik says:

      Ha ha! Brillliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spread the word! See how quick they run to the so-called millionaires they hate to get rich shoveling horse sh!t!!! Love it.

  24. Frostie says:

    Get over it.
    NYC used to be all horses and somehow everyone lived and had to get along.
    Something is always going to inconvenience someone, thats how it is.
    Too Bad.

  25. Charles P. says:

    Can anyone say Job opportunities?! See, more jobs are being created by horses than Obama.

    http://www.leadfootedrabbit.com

    1. Indeed! There are several gentlemen already employed by the carriage companies (not the city) to sweep up the stands on 59th St. and around the Plaza – THEY have jobs, but the OWS protesters don’t… I’m sure if they had more manpower, they could clean up the wayward nuggets that miss the diaperbag – and clean up after the mounted police, none of whom wear manure catchers.

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