I cannot see into the future and I do not like to predict things. Last year at this time, a well known psychic predicted an end to the carriage trade. From her mouth to God's ears - but it did not happen. However, these are some things that we expect to happen this year along with some words of caution:
- Our campaign continues; we keep getting our newsletter out and educating people. We hope others will do the same with protests, advertising -- whatever it takes
- We will lobby for our new proposed bill to prevent horses from going to auction.
- Please know this unequivocally. The impediments in the way of progress are the ASPCA, Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg. Although the ASPCA professes to support a ban, they have done virtually nothing for the issue. They enable the industry. Please do not support them. There are other more needy organizations. Please see this video.
- Political - Be politically aware. 2013 is election year for the mayoralty. Christine Quinn will probably run and will be a disaster for the horses if this is so. Watch out for her alliance with the ASPCA.
Where have they all gone?! - Sign petition at Change.org
Change.org - Save New York City's Carriage Horses From Slaughter - Stephanie Feldstein - 12/17/10 -- The holidays are New York City's carriage horse industry's most lucrative season. Personally, I don't see the charm in being pulled around a city park or through traffic by a sad, overworked horse. And nothing kills the romance quite like thinking about what happens to those horses when they can no longer work. In the carriage horse industry, turnover is high - according to the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, New York City's 200 or so carriage horses work for an average of four years, compared to police horses who are typically on the beat for about 14 years. So, where do all those horses go? Well, that's the question. The existing laws surrounding the carriage horse industry (such as they are) don't do much to address what happens to the horses once they're pulled from the street. Some may end up retired, finally able to get away from city life, see a real pasture and breath without a tailpipe in their faces. But sale and transfer records are only required if the transaction happens within New York City ... and most don't. So, when horses like Bobby end up on the auction block in Pennsylvania, the city has their blinders on. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, Equine Advocates and Friends of Animals were able to rescue Bobby before he could be sold to a kill buyer. But how many horses like Bobby have slipped through the cracks? The ideal outcome for the horses would be to ban the carriage horse industry. Some advocates and council members have talked about replacing horse-drawn carriages with vintage replica electric cars. Keep the nostalgia, ditch the cruelty. It's a great idea, but as long as the carriage horse industry holds the reins in city politics, it's not going to happen.
Advocates haven't stopped fighting for a ban, but in the meantime, the least we can do is ensure that the horses' lives have a better outcome than ending up on the kill floor of a slaughterhouse. Some of the proposed bills have included language for the "humane disposition" of horses. But while the industry vehemently opposes the electric cars and other horse-friendly amendments, the animals are vulnerable to being sold for slaughter. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages is now asking the City Council to consider just that section on disposition, with an amendment to the code which would require horse owners to sell or donate their horses to private individuals who will keep them as companions or to an animal sanctuary. Carriage horse drivers and owners repeatedly insist that their horses are well cared for and loved. Here's their chance to prove it. Anyone who cares about an animal wouldn't be willing to put her through the torturous trip across the border to a brutal slaughterhouse. So, there's no excuse for opposing a bill that ensures these horses get a humane retirement. City Council and New York City Carriage Horse Owners: This is your chance to show your compassionate side. The reality of racehorses ending their careers at the slaughterhouse soured a lot of people to that cruel industry. It's time to bring this dark side of the carriage horse industry out of the shadows. Ask New York City Council to save carriage horses from slaughter.
PLEASE SIGN PETITION: Please click here to sign the petition and ask your friends to do the same. The horses have only you on whom to depend. We must be their voices.
The Big Snow of 2010 started yesterday morning. The carriage drivers were at the park trying to squeeze out that last piece of business. Notice the "one size fits all" plastic garbage bag used to protect the a.) horse? or b.) tack?
The law requires that the horses not be worked when it is 18 degrees or below. There is no consideration for wind chill. It also prohibits the horses from working in adverse weather conditions -- "Adverse weather conditions shall include but not be restricted to snow, ice, heavy rain or other slippery conditions."
The question remains whether the horses will be allowed to work today by the ASPCA. According to the NYC government web site: A Blizzard Warning is in effect for New York City until Monday, December 27, at 6 PM. Stay off the roads. The City needs to clear the roads of snow and abandoned vehicles so public safety units can respond to emergencies.
Please come out for the horses
This will be the last demo for 2010. Please join the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, Friends of Animals and Heart for Animals in a protest against the horse-drawn carriage trade.
- When: Friday, December 31st
- Time: 1PM to 3PM
- Where: North/west corner Fifth Avenue and Central Park South
Finish the year by giving 2 hours to the horses. Be their voice.
This is a video of the horse-drawn carriage trade in Rome, called Botticelle. They seem to be cut from the same cloth as their NYC brothers. Video on Youtube is called Ban Carriage Horses in R
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