Horse Drawn Carriages
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Horse Drawn Carriages

CENTRAL PARK HORSES DENIED WATER Parks Dept. shuts off water - troughs empty

FEBRUARY 11, 2008
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages -


Water troughs for carriage horses have been shut off in Central Park depriving the horses of necessary drink. See pictures of water troughs: The carriage horses on Central Park South are not getting enough water to drink.

Since the weather got cold, both water troughs in Central Park have been shut off depriving these horses of water. The trough closer to Sixth Avenue never has water -- instead it has been turned into a garbage receptacle, filled with coffee cups and candy wrappers. Sometimes a stable hand fills the trough closer to Fifth Avenue.

On Sunday, February 3rd, even this one was empty. On Friday, February 8th, a horse died at Clinton Park Stables from natural causes. Was it dehydration induced colic? Reports FOILED from the Department of Health indicate that in period of a 1 1/2 years in 2004 and 2005, nine horses died in their stables - behind closed doors - never reported to the public. Six of the horses were under nine years old. Although colic is caused by many things - lack of water and turnout are definitely among them.

Holly Cheever, DVM, equine veterinarian and specialist on the carriage horse issue stated "In cold weather with hard work, horses' water needs are just as stringent as in very hot weather. The lack of adequate fluid intake puts horses at risk for colic, a possibly fatal intestinal disorder - not to mention creating a condition of extreme discomfort, adding to the level of suffering they face from overwork and "double shifting" in the holiday season." Even in the warmer weather when the water is flowing, this trough is nothing better than an unsanitary source for water.

Dr. Cheever continues "The lack of safe, potable water for New York City's carriage horses has always been one of the greatest sources of abuse. It contributes to their deaths from heat prostration in the summer and adds to their burden of suffering during their overworked peak holiday season. Furthermore, the public troughs, which are their only water source during their shifts are an enormous source of pollutants and constitute a perfect medium for disease transmission." The NYC Comptroller's office did an audit, dated June 27, 2007 of the agencies that oversee the carriage industry and among other things found that "there are no water spigots in the areas carriages wait to pick up passengers, which makes it difficult to obtain drinking water for the horses "

"These horses should have been pulled off the street after the Audit Report. Not only has nothing happened to correct this serious problem, but it is actually worse than the Comptroller's office determined. This is clearly a violation of Article 26 , Section 353 of the Agriculture and Markets law, which states that it is a misdemeanor for anyone who "deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink or neglects or refuses to furnish it " - stated Elizabeth Forel, President of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. "We are calling on Mayor Bloomberg to immediately close down this industry since there is no way it can be operated humanely." It is the position of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages that certain conditions in New York City - such as the ongoing lack of water during their nine hour work day - cannot be corrected in a way to make this industry humane. The Coalition supports Intro 658, sponsored by Council Member Tony Avella, which would ban the use of horse-drawn carriages in NYC.

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