Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Petting Zoo - Horse Wagon

MARTINELLI PUBLICATIONS issues nine weekly newspapers across Westchester, including HOME NEWS AND TIMES, EASTCHESTER RECORD, HARRISON INDEPENDENT, MT. VERNON INDEPENDENT, WESTCHESTER CRUSADER and RYE CHRONICLES.  This letter, concerning the BID alert we posted a few days ago, appears in their January 13, 2005 editions:

"I was very distressed to see the photos of the 'winter carnival' held by the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID).  The photos showed children putting their hands through the bars of the petting zoo to touch the animals - and most disturbingly, ONE HORSE pulling a long, enormous wagon filled with approximately 12 adults and children.  

Horses are not slaves; they are living, sentient beings who love their babies just like we do, though sadly they are frequently mistreated; a horse like this will be overworked till he is too weak to work anymore, at which point he will be sent to a slaughterhouse , .  And children can fall from these wagons and be injured and trampled as a result.

Petting zoos present several problems to the public, including the possibility of E Coli contamination, bites, etc., all of which could lead to costly lawsuits against the city of Yonkers.  Animals suffer stress as a result of these events: they are not watered or fed prior to traveling, and they are shipped in poor, unheated, windowless conditions.  Veterinarians have reported treating small animals who were trampled by larger animals in petting zoos, resulting in broken limbs, and sometimes death .

We are calling on Yonkers BID to discontinue any relationship with traveling animal events; and we implore the public to consider, in addition to public safety,  what such events are like for the animals, what their lives are like before and afterwards - we ask you to think, really think, about what you might not otherwise be aware of."

Kiley Blackman, spokesperson
[email protected]  

Letters to the editor: [email protected]   This paper has published several compassion pieces, including a regular adoption section - and not just items relating to Westchester.

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