People were left shocked after a horse collapsed during rush hour and its carriage driver repeatedly struck him whilst ordering it to "get up".
Horrifying footage from Manhattan, New York on Wednesday (August 10) shows the horse fall onto the tarmac as its knees buckle.
“Get up, get up, get up, come on – get up,” roared the driver as he slapped the horse and pulled on the reins.
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Onlookers were disturbed, with one asking the carriage driver: “What if I slapped you around like that?”
“Stop slapping him,” another was heard pleading.
The animal eventually fell onto its side and laid its head on the road. Only then did the driver decide to take the carriage off its bindings.
Later, police were filmed arriving and dousing the horse in water, with the exhausted animal cheered to its feet by a large crowd over an hour later.
Police said that the NYPD’s mounted unit then transported the horse elsewhere for treatment.
Like the UK, New York has recently been in the midst of a heatwave.
Horrified witnesses have since spoken out against the treatment of the horse.
Kelvin Gonzalez, 25, told the New York Post: “It’s really sad, man. You can tell that horse was not taken care of. You can tell he was exploiting that horse. The horse was hungry, he was thirsty. You can tell the horse collapsed from the thirst.”
He added that police actually injected the horse with adrenaline after he failed to get up "like 10 times".
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Another witness said the horse was bleeding from its knee at one point.
"He [the driver] was afraid to take the bridle off the horse because he was afraid he wouldn’t control it once it got up. He didn’t know a thing about horses," Cathy Garfield, 75, said.
"I was able to convince the driver to remove the bit from the bridle. It had been trying to drink water. It’s hard when you have a big piece of metal in your mouth."
Similar incidents to this one are the reason why New York City Council is currently considering replacing horse-drawn carriages with electric vehicles.
The new measure would give carriage drivers preferences on electric carriage licences and require they be paid union wages.
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