|NYC carriage horse "parked" over steam vent on 1/27/14 - photo by Mary Culpepper|
These are excerpts from two recent pieces - one an interview by Nicole M. Arcielo of the Times Union in which she gave me an opportunity to get the truth out. The other was a blog on Vegan Publisher blog. There is a link to both sites where you can read the entire articles.
WORKING TO BAN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGESan interview by the Times Union
I was interviewed by Nicole M. Arcielo of the Times Union -Working to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. This is an excerpt:
A driver was charged with animal cruelty recently. Has this ever happened before? Will it help pave the way for the ban? This is the first time someone was caught. It was an NYPD officer who made the arrest and it is probably because they took over enforcing the cruelty laws on January 1st. The officer was probably more sensitive to the suffering. It is odd that only the NY Times reported on this cruelty arrest.
While on paper it looks like the trade is heavily regulated by many City agencies, these regulations are mostly not enforced. The ASPCA officers - fewer than 20 - handled the whole state. They would have had to assign one officer to each driver to keep up with them and that was never going to happen. But I wonder why no one else noticed this lame horse for four days - not the stable manager, not the owner and not the many drivers who work out of Clinton Stable. That is shameful and just confirms to me that they don't care and see these horses as objects, as money makers. I also wonder about the stall in which Blondie lived. A very common cause of thrush, which was the cause of the lameness, is filthy urine soaked straw bedding.nose to carriage (2) Here are videos of violations activists have amassed. Even though these have been turned over to the Department of Health and Consumer Affairs, nothing is generally done about any of this. Perhaps it was because Agency Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor (Bloomberg in this case) and did not want to rock the boat since Bloomberg supported the industry. The ASPCA also never responded to these videos.
BAN OF THE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE TRADE IN NYby Elizabeth Forel - guest blogger on Vegan Publisher
Ban of the Horse-Drawn Carriage Trade in New York -- by Elizabeth Forel - guest blogger on Vegan Publishers. This is an excerpt:
WHY THE BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN: These slow moving, flimsy conveyances do not belong in the heavy congested streets of NYC, which is always an accident waiting to happen. Horses are prey animals and are predictably unpredictable - they spook easily and can bolt into traffic causing mayhem. These sensitive animals become unwitting weapons who can kill or injure themselves or passersby. Human deaths have happened in other countries and if this business is allowed to continue, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed here.
The horses work nine hours a day, seven days a week between the shafts of their carriages where they do not have the freedom to scratch an itch - something everyone takes for granted. During the holiday season when the drivers are busy, the horses are worked to exhaustion - never resting. At other times of the year, when there is little business, they wait at the hack line bored, stomping their hooves until they get yelled at. The more fortunate ones just fall asleep. But they all have that disinterested faraway look as they stand dispirited while their drivers ignore them, often shooting the breeze with their cronies.
They live in multi-level drab and dark stables in upper floor stalls that are less than half the size of what experts recommend. They are accessed by a steep ramp. The horses have no turn out to pasture - no place to graze and socialize with the other horses. The stables have one means of egress and if there were a fire, the horses living on upper floors would not be able to get out. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.