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Another carriage horse drops on the streets of NYC: email the Mayor

December 12, 2011
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Please send sample letter to Mayor Bloomeberg demanding the carriage horse industry ceases to exist.  There are two sample letters and both will fit in the character-limited comment field, but please modify.


BACKGROUND | FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST

Another New York City carriage horse has fallen in Manhattan.

Horrified holiday shoppers and tourists looked on as carriage handlers tried desperately to get the white horse to its feet Sunday afternoon near the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. One onlooker managed to film the struggle and submitted it to the group Win Animal Rights.

Animal rights activist Mary Xanthos blamed the holiday season as putting an extra burden on carriage horses, telling The New York Daily News, “These horses were being worked non-stop, going over and over again, ride after ride without a break.”

A spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York however, objected to the title of the YouTube video (NYC Carriage Horse Collapses 12/4/11 Copyright Win Animal Rights) telling The News, “No horse collapsed. It caught its toe in the pavement, which is quite common.”

Bret Hopman of the ASPCA tells Gothamist, “the horse has been suspended pending a veterinary exam and won’t return to work until the exam is completed.”

And Kenneth Malone, president of the association, said in a press release, “The carriage industry in New York City is such a public institution that a horse can sneeze funny and some activist is in our faces with a camera to post footage to YouTube.”

Mayor Bloomberg shrugged at the news. “They’re animals and animals and human beings, eventually, we all unfortunately stop continuing and it’s unfortunate when it happens, but that doesn’t mean that you stop doing things,” the mayor said. “You just want to make sure that they’re well treated.”

Animal rights groups have long complained that carriage horses are overworked and aren’t taken care of properly.

New Yorkers For Clean, Safe, Livable And Safe Streets, an advocacy group, have been joined by some local politicians in pushing to pass Intro. 86A, a City Council bill that ups restrictions on horse carriages and aims to eventually replace them with “horseless carriages,” i.e. vintage, turn-of-century, motorized cars.

After the collapse and death of a carriage horse in July, the ASPCA released a statement:

We at the ASPCA express our sadness and concern at this tragic incident. The life of a carriage horse on New York City streets is extremely difficult and life threatening, and the ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting.

A couple weeks ago, The Horse and Carriage Association Of New York filed a complaint against the ASPCA and NYCLASS. “Both the ASPCA and NYCLASS have made false, misleading and/or deceptive statements about the carriage industry,” the statement said.

 (Warning: Graphic language)


Vodpod videos no longer available.



WHOM TO CONTACT

Mayor Bloomberg’s Office


SAMPLE LETTER ONE

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I am writing today to encourage you to oppose the horse carriage industry. Built around perennial abuse and exploitation, the horse carriage industry is duplicitously disguised as an essential tourist icon of romanticism and history, a grossly inaccurate representation.

Allow me this moment to illustrate. Since the industry is profit driven, current safety or “humane” protocols, being cost-prohibitive, are not observed; indeed, any animal used as a goal to human profit is regarded in a fundamentally cruel and exploitative manner. Specifically, horses are subjected to numerous cruelties and inhumane conditions including respiratory impairment as the result of perpetual inhalation of vehicle exhaust; horses are required to operate under grueling conditions and varied temperatures including high heat, humidity, and frigid cold, impairing their well-being while exhaustively working long hours; neglected appropriate medical care, horses often suffer lameness and other physical conditions; horses are typically serving this industry secondary to previous laboring of racing or farming, enduring lifelong injuries while forced to pull incredibly massive weights upward of 8,000 pounds; traffic conditions being erratic at best creates extremely precarious conditions and potentially fatal accidents; the natural lifespan of horses is dramatically diminished resulting from such dangerous and unpredictable conditions, and they are often retired to slaughterhouses, the final indecency forced upon them by greedy humans.

Pragmatically, horse drawn carriages are a transportation relic, historically essential but currently hazardous to both horses and humans. Although potentially attractive to unaware passengers, the horse drawn carriage industry, as a novelty, is not critical to city tourism; indeed, tourists visit for the culture, theatre, nightlife, and landmarks, and the potential loss of tourism benefits absent horse drawn carriages will most certainly be negligible.

I know your time is limited, and I want to thank you for your attention to this important issue.


SAMPLE LETTER TWO

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I and shocked to learn that yet another carriage horse has succumbed to torturous conditions and selfish tourists.  We therefore must utilize our conviction to see the industry disband in place of, for example, vintage cars.

Allow me this moment to illustrate. Since the industry is profit driven, current safety or “humane” protocols, being cost-prohibitive, are not observed; indeed, any animal used as a goal to human profit is regarded in a fundamentally cruel and exploitative manner. Specifically, horses are subjected to numerous cruelties and inhumane conditions including respiratory impairment as the result of perpetual inhalation of vehicle exhaust; horses are required to operate under grueling conditions and varied temperatures including high heat, humidity, and frigid cold, impairing their well-being while exhaustively working long hours; neglected appropriate medical care, horses often suffer lameness and other physical conditions; horses are typically serving this industry secondary to previous laboring of racing or farming, enduring lifelong injuries while forced to pull incredibly massive weights upward of 8,000 pounds; traffic conditions being erratic at best creates extremely precarious conditions and potentially fatal accidents; the natural lifespan of horses is dramatically diminished resulting from such dangerous and unpredictable conditions, and they are often retired to slaughterhouses, the final indecency forced upon them by greedy humans.

Regrettably, until the carriage horse industry is banned, I will not visit New York.  Please understand that you have the power to make the humane decision to see this realized.

I know your time is limited, and I thank you for your attention to this issue.



SEE MORE:





how would you feel if you
were a horse
forced to navigate
this harsh urban course
dodging sounds, cars
people and smells
for this gentle, good
creature
a voyage through hell
so put yourselves
in his horseshoes
being a carriage horse
not what you want to do

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


6 Comments leave one →
  1. thomas moore permalink
    December 12, 2011 6:02 pm

    This crap has got to STOP and NOW!

    Like

  2. sonia jette. permalink
    December 12, 2011 7:46 pm

    It’s bad to do this to those horse, i know they have been beaten up cause they are soooooo tired and they are old they shold be RETIRED people buy those horse at a low price and they abuse them DEEPLY that should be FORBIDEN carriage horse cause they ABUSE THEM . STOP ABUSING THOSE HORSES.

    Like

  3. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    December 13, 2011 4:14 am

    how would you feel if you
    were a horse
    forced to navigate
    this harsh urban course
    dodging sounds, cars
    people and smells
    for this gentle, good
    creature
    a voyage through hell
    so put yourselves
    in his horseshoes
    being a carriage horse
    not what you want to do

    Like

  4. CATHALA Corine permalink
    December 13, 2011 8:19 am

    On ne doit pas prendre les chevaux pour des esclaves, please stop cette barbarie

    Like

  5. Emma permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:33 am

    Idealistically, yes we all want horses to be free roaming in a lovely pasture grazing at leisure. First of all, NYC horses are brought to from auctions or by donation. They would otherwise be sent beside thousands of others on a long trip to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. NYC carriage horses are rotated to an upstate NY farm for R&R. I lived across the street from the stable where these horses are kept. At no time were they ever abused or neglected. Neighborhood kids would bring them carrots and apples before their daily rounds. Horses are work animals. They are a hardy breed who can work heavy loads in all weather. Pulling a carriage in NYC or Rome is hardly considered work. Don’t believe everything you read, the ASPCA is doing a fine job keeping them safe and healthy. Let’s focus on maintaining laws that will continue to monitor humane treatment for all animals whatever their destiny. Peace

    Like

  6. SHIREEN MCKEE permalink
    December 13, 2011 2:11 pm

    Mayor Bloomberg,
    I implore you to shut down the carriage trade with horses now, this is extremely distressing for any person who has feelings for animals & most certainly dreadful publicity for your city, it will end up as people not wanting to go in these vehicules as they will be deemed not to be safe, & will put the people out of business:
    Please please I beg you before more tragic deaths take place.

    Like

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