Horse Drawn Carriages
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Horse Drawn Carriages

ASPCA & FRIENDS OF ANIMALS WRITE TO NY SUN

(Not published by NY Sun)

ASPCA:
Dear Editor:

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is shocked at the New York Sun's endorsement today of the carriage horse industry, as well as the story that appeared last week announcing a vet's findings that the carriage horses are in "excellent" health. We believe nothing could be further from the truth. Neither the New York City environment nor the current law provides horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well being.

For years, the carriage horses have been subject to working in bad conditions-some even dying in traffic accidents-and the laws protecting them are not always enforced. Our position was underscored by an Audit Report on the "Licensing and Oversight of the Carriage Horse Industry" by the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Consumer Affairs (DCA) released last September by the New York City Comptroller.

The report pointed out the lack of required number of inspections of horse-drawn carriages, an absence of veterinary examinations in the field, the presence of too many passengers in carriages, and the lack of designated formal hack stands that result in horses often standing in their own waste without shade or water. It's no surprise that Dr. John Lowe's findings praised the horses' conditions, since he was commissioned by the Horse and Carriage Horse Association to complete his report. Further, your story says that horses were observed in stables, and not when they were working, which the audit report clearly states is needed.

Your readers have no way of knowing how much time Dr. Lowe spent with each horse, what criteria he used to determine if they were healthy, or how many horses he actually examined. The carriage horse industry is an archaic one that has no place in the 21st century, let alone the financial capital of our country.

Let's bring New York into the present and protect these noble animals at the same time.

Sincerely,
Ed Sayres, President & CEO, ASPCA
 

FRIENDS OF ANIMALS: More Horseplay from Carriage Industry

A new report commissioned by the Horse and Carriage Association, on the health of the horses in whom it has a vested business interest, borders on the ludicrous. Had veterinarian John Lowe spent more than mere hours with these horses, and observed them on the streets facing the environment they endure daily, Lowe might have come to the same conclusion that Friends of Animals did long ago: There is no way for the horse and carriage trade to operate humanely in New York City.

The situation for the horses is so dire that the ASPCA, traditionally an inspection unit and advocate of regulation, recently came out in support of Council Member Tony Avella's pending bill to ban the industry. Constant pavement pounding, traffic and exhaust fumes and infinite fear-provoking noises all make the industry indefensible. The New York City Comptroller's own audit on the carriage industry revealed many of these problems, and noted the difficulties posed to the agencies expected to monitor the health of the horses.

The recent arrest of Cornelius Byrne, a stable owner busted for bribing an investigator, sheds some light unto the unscrupulous conduct in this industry. Byrne was caught switching identification numbers on horses, and in fact accrued seven violations before this attempted bribery.

With this, plus a long list of tragic accidents, human injuries and horse deaths, it's long past time that Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council put this industry out to pasture.

Edita Birnkrant
NYC Campaign Coordinator,
Friends of Animals.

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