New York City horses are completely deprived of proper rest, having no daily pasture time whatsoever, only a non-level street pavement (depicted in photo) that rivals the non-level stable floors that damage their joints and hooves. The NYC environment is barbaric for the majestic horse!
According to NY1 TV, the last horse-drawn taxi stopped operating on July 26, 1917.
When did the present day horse-drawn carriage trade for tourists begin? It began during the mayoral term of Irish born William O'Dwyer, the 100th mayor of New York City. He was elected in 1945, heavily backed by the Tammany Hall Democrats. Eventually confronted with a police corruption scandal, he resigned from office on August 31, 1950.
O'Dwyer always looked out for his Irish friends and during his time in office, he issued 68 medallions to these friends to set them up in business giving carriage rides to tourists. These medallions are privately owned. To this day, there are O'Dwyers still involved with the business of the carriage industry.
Rats as big as 'rabbits' overrun Grand Army Plaza Park near Plaza Hotel. This story was picked up by TV media also. It's been reported that there are many rats in the area of the hack line at Central Park.
The drivers blame tourists but the article says :But on a recent late night visit, the Daily News found the rats feasting on remnants of horse feed, while the sidewalks were relatively clean of trash and the wire-mesh trash pails were lined with heavy black bags.
Please come out to protest the unsafe and inhumane carriage horse business. The demo is sponsored by Heart for Animals and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages:
WHERE:north west corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue
WHEN: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
New York: Staten Island Advance - 8/15/11 - It's high time to retire the carriage horse industry - By Dr. JOHN G. HYNES TOTTENVILLE It is long overdue for the carriage horses in our city to be relieved of their lifetime sentences and finally be paroled. As a U.S. Department of Agriculture-accredited veterinarian in New York, I can tell you that the weak laws that are currently in place that are supposed to protect these horses are not enforced. The carriage horse drivers and owners have influenced, intimidated, and manipulated many of the New York City Council members, who refuse to take a stand against this inhumane and abusive industry. If the people do not speak up, these animals will continue to suffer. If anyone who is reading this, and cares about horses, were permitted to view the substandard and inadequate conditions in which these animals are forced to live, you would be demanding an end to this industry as I am today, and you certainly would never take a New York City horse-carriage ride.
New York: NY Daily News - 8/20/11 - Voice of the People -- Cruelty on the streets Manhattan: Do the guys who drive these carriage horses have any kind of training? The other night at around 6 :30 p.m., I was on 59th St. and witnessed a carriage horse almost smash into the back of a taxi because the driver was too busy looking around. A taxi stopped suddenly in front of the horse and the poor animal almost lost its footing and fell. The driver didn't even notice. There needs to be a full blown investigation into this filthy and cruel "business." I will never, ever, vote for any politician who is not in favor of discontinuing this horrible industry. Frances Clarke
Charleston: sent to the Post and Courier - 8/16/11 - (not published) Somehow, the question of humane treatment of carriage animals is being lost in the controversy over thermometer placement and timing ("Setback delays heat-gauge plan: Next summer now deadline for evaluating new thermometers for carriage-tour industry" Aug.16). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that 97 degrees in stifling southern humidity is too hot to do heavy work. But that's what carriage horses and mules in Charleston are expected to do; and do it 8 hours a day pulling 17 passengers on steaming asphalt. According to the National Oceanic and Aeronautic Association, a boiling 98 degrees is considered "Danger"; not "Caution", not "Extreme Caution". Dangerous. At any humidity level. To stall taking up the controversy continues to subject these animals to dangerous, inhumane conditions. And to consider raising the temperature cut-off even higher if carriage operators complain about lost business is to completely lose site of the issue. Ellen A. Harley - Charleston, South Carolina
VIOLATIONS: One of the best things you can do to help the horses and this campaign is to be our eye witness to violations. Some of the violations that you may witness are:
drivers working outside the area in which they are allowed to work
more than four adults in a carriage
while driving - using cell phones; eating; taking photos or video while turning around, reading, standing up; not paying attention to the road
going through lights; using their horse to negotiate traffic especially at an intersection; careless driving; u-turns
leaving the horse unattended when the driver is not near by.
INFORMATION NEEDED: If you see anything like this, something you believe is in violation of the law -- even if you are not sure, please do the following:
write down the 4-digit number on the license plate, which is on the back of the carriage.
write down the exact location of the incident - i.e., north/west corner of 56th St. and 5th Avenue
describe the incident
Very important: Take a picture or video. If you do not have a date stamp; please try to incorporate the date and time into your photos/video. You can photograph the CNN clock; your own watch or cell phone or the front page of a newspaper
Extra Information - a big plus if you can get it. Describe the carriage, horse and driver. If possible, get the 4-digit ID number of the horse, which is on the left front hoof
Send the information to email@example.com
HORSE WELFARE: If the incident you see involves the well being of a horse - i.e, the horse appears lame or has a bloody eye - get the same information as above. We ask that you send the complaint to:
Pam Corey, the ASPCA veterinarian at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for a response and outcome of your complaint
cc us at email@example.com (very important)
We will make this an issue if possible, whereas the ASPCA will not.
AREA RESTRICTIONS - PARTIAL: . During the week, carriage horses are not allowed in the area south of 57th St. and north of 42nd st., between 7th and 9th Avenue before 11:30 PM. Click here for the Consumer Affairs Administrative Code.
Join Borough President Stringer in Calling on the City to:
Reconstitute AC&C into a quasi-independent, not-for-profit with a large, diverse board modeled after the Central Park Conservancy that can bring new resources and new expertise to the City’s animal welfare system.
Comply with existing law and build full-service shelters in all five boroughs.
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
Our original petition was not able to capture people who live in other countries. It had something to do with targeting state legislators. This time, the petition is only going to Senator Avella and Assemblymember Rosenthal . It is tourists often from other coutries who take these rides.
This petition is only for them.
Once again, Christine Quinn defies the will of the people and City Council and is trying to kill the law that was passed several years ago that would mandate shelters in the Bronx and Queens. This is reminiscent of what she did with term limits when she strong armed the City Council to defy the will of the people. She is good at that because it is evident that she does not respect the democratic process.
In 2000, a bill was passed that would require animal shelters in every borough of NYC. Since shelters already existed in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island - it mean new shelters in the Bronx and in Queens.
The City of New York was sued last year on this issue and the case was won. The judge decided that the City had to build the animal shelters. Stray from the Heart was the plaintiff. The City appealed it.
We wanted to share a note from Toni Bodon of the rescue group STRAY FROM THE HEART. SFTH sued the City for violating the law requiring that animal shelters be built in the Bronx and Queens. That law is slated to be repealed as part of a proposed agreement negotiated between City officials on the one hand and the ASPCA and the Mayor's Alliance on the other. The proposed agreement will come before the City Council for a vote as early as September.
Shelter Reform joins with Stray From The Heart in urging you to sign the on-line petition (created by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer) seeking reform of our City's animal care and control system. (See below). A petition sent by thousands and thousands of New Yorkers would certainly be a wake-up call to the Mayor and the City Council. It's time to send the Department of Health packing from its control over the ACC.
The time for change is now.
Shelter Reform Action Committee
MESSAGE FROM STRAY FROM THE HEART:
Subject: Boro President Stringer ACC Petition - Please sign and share!
August 17, 2011
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has been a strong advocate for animal welfare reform in New York City, and one of our biggest supporters. He filed an Amicus Brief with the Court of Appeals in support of our lawsuit, which demands the enforcement of the 2000 Animal Shelter Law requiring the City to open full-service shelters in the Bronx and Queens where thousands of stray dogs roam the streets.
Stringer has drafted a petition which we hope can translate into a legislative bill to restructure the entire shelter system in the City. Please read the Page he wrote and sign the petition (see links below). He needs 3,000 New Yorkers to sign it, so please share with others.
This is perhaps the most important time in New York City's history to bring about the change necessary to benefit the thousands of homeless animals who enter our shelters with little hope of finding a good home. We can make a difference, and each of you can be part of this exciting initiative.
And feel free to send Stringer [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] a note thanking him for his leadership.
Excellent hard hitting piece on Huffington post by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. It calls on the City to undertake a top-to-bottom reconstitution of ACC and to abide by its legal requirement to build shelters in the Bronx and Queens.
There is a petition attached. Please sign and share
If you care about animal rights and welfare, please know that Quinn will be a disaster as mayor. It is because of her that the carriage horse bills have gone nowhere.
This is very important because there will be a lot of political people there and they need to know that we do not want Quinn to be our next mayor.
We will meet at the fountain in the small square btw 58th and 59th directly across from the entrance to the Plaza Hotel. Please be there at 5:30 sharp because, by 6:00 p.m., most of the guests will be inside. Our window to catch the guests is short.
I spoke to the local precinct, and we agreed on different spots where we can hold up posters. I think we will be very visible to anyone walking or driving into the Plaza.
This is a great venue for a Quinn protest because NY's Democratic establishment will be there. They need to see that some NY voters oppose Quinn so much that we are willing to protest against her two years before the election. Over time, some of these politicians might have second thoughts about aligning with and endorsing a politician who generates so much backlash from voters.
I will have the posters and handouts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks in advance!
Christine Quinn SUPPORTS the carriage industry - Here's proof from the article linked below:
"In response to criticism of the legislation, Council Speaker Christine Quinn defended the horse carriage industry, saying it was an iconic activity for any visitor to the Big Apple. "We want to support this industry," said Quinn. "We want to keep it alive and running."
this is from last year when intro 35A was passed and signed into law. It was a great concession to the carriage trade.
Please everyone: stop drinking the cool aid. Do your own research. Read proposed bills and legislation.
Yes - it seemed like it was written by Andrea Peyser of the NY Post - perhaps she was moonlighting. If not - maybe by an intern from Fox 5 News. But it was the NY Times - that paper of record. Someone said that since it was the last piece in the paper it looked like a filler. In any case, the editorial was replete with assumptions and lies. It may well have been a "favor" called in by the powers that be since it was too much of a coincidence that it came after 2 1/2 weeks of accidents. The editorial was entitled Some Carriages Should Not Be Horseless - August 4, 2011. View it below:
The horses and carriages were missing from Central Park South on Monday, midafternoon. “Too hot,” explained a salesman trying to lure disappointed tourists into pedicabs instead. “Over 90, they go.”
This is good news: New York’s 210 licensed carriage horses (68 licensed carriages) are not allowed on the street when it is over 90 degrees or under 18 degrees. The animals also must take five-week vacations each year at pastures outside the city. They work nine-hour days and get two veterinarian check-ups every year.
Of course, that’s not enough for some people, who want to do away with this historic business and are becoming increasingly aggressive about it. Anti-carriage protesters stormed the American Girl store on Fifth Avenue last month, ultimately forcing the store to cancel planned carriage trips for customers. (Nice notion there, terrify little girls to make a political point.)
A taxi recently plowed into the back of a carriage near the Plaza Hotel, seriously injuring the hansom driver (but not the horse). So State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal did what some politicians will do, they called for a state law to end this “archaic industry.” That would whisk a lot of magic out of a trip to New York City for thousands of tourists, and it is not necessary. Riding in hansom cabs is far safer than, say, crossing Delancey at Essex Street or maneuvering a bicycle through rush-hour traffic.
The horses are well treated and monitored closely by the city. We dropped unannounced into Clinton Park Stables, one of four allowed to provide city carriages, and saw that the horses are treated better than advertised. They have large stalls, water that flows with the nudge of a nose and plenty of hay. “These horses were bred to pull a carriage,” says Dr. Dennis Farrell, a veterinarian who helps the city with its large horse population (think police, etc.).
Some groups want to replace the carriages with electric cars. How dreary. As Conor McHugh, the stable manager, said, “That’s all we need in this city — more cars.”
We ask that you send a Letter-to-the-Editor in response to this piece. There is no author indicated because it is an editorial. These are the Rules:
150 words maximum
include your contact information - name, address and telephone
Do it as soon as possible. Don't wait. This is a timely article.
Just write -- do not think it needs to be perfect. Let the NY Times know that many people want this industry to end. They cannot get away with this drivel.
Send us a copy if you wish. Don't cc us. We will publish them after we give the NYT some time to publish letters. email@example.com
I am appealing to all people who read this - in this instance people who care about the carriage horses. When Theresa Shaver first posted her video, it was picked up on some of the Facebook pages -- ours included. (No Walk in the Park) Some of the comments that ensued were hateful and ignorant -- people who called her vicious names; that she should not have taken the carriage ride in the first place, denigrating her experience. This did not happen on our page. However, to their credit, the administrator of the other FB page removed the comments very quickly. It is possible they had been infiltrated by drivers. I do not know but I think that some of the comments were from so-called animal people. As supposedly compassionate people, we need to be more understanding of the human condition. Let's stop calling tourists names like "fat, lazy slobs." That does not further our cause. Many have not been educated about the issue. We ask people to be compassionate about horses and other animals while at the same time viciously attacking tourists who take the rides and oftentimes the drivers. I know it is difficult, because I have been there too. But Theresa, who is a lovely compassionate person, taught me a big lesson and I hope you learn it also. We need to educate others by positive example. The word "compassion" should count for something.
I reached out to Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals who is a big proponent of Ahimsa. Edita knows it is very difficult and challenging to achieve, but she agrees with its principles and it is a wonderful goal to aspire to. This is what she says. "As activists, anger is often what fuels us, but in my nearly 12 years of activism, I've learned that the primary factor with which we reach and connect with people should not be anger, but kindness, respect and love. The concept of Ahimsa, which was the spiritual basis for both Gandhi's and Martin Luther King Jr.'s social justice activism is a doctrine based on non-violence, and doing no harm, and that means within ourselves as activists, and how we treat others, and in every action we take in our lives. It even means towards the way we treat our "enemies," if we perceive them as such. It takes much more strength to "love our enemies," and have compassion for them, instead of hatred. This doesn't mean we don't continue our path for social justice and animal rights, it just means that we do it with as much kindness respect and love as possible, towards all.
In the wake of three known accidents in the last several weeks, the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages has asked the Manhattan Borough President and the Public Advocate's office to do an investigation of the carriage horse business as related to public safety. We have also asked the Comptroller's Office to do an audit of the Department of Transportation, NYPD and Parks Department in relation to the carriage horse safety issue. None of these agencies were included in the 2007 audit. All are independent of the Mayor's influence so should be able to do what we ask. But will they?
This is a good piece from Gothamist. Click Here Notice driver/owner Ian McKeever calls Shaver "crazy." Nice going, Ian.
This was from Channel 2 WCBS news with Marcia Kramer. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/08/04/tourist-recounts-traumatic-experience-riding-central-park-carriage-horse/. The bottom video is from News at 5 with Marcia Kramer. The line they took from my interview was about it being a SAFETY ISSUE ... and it is - for the horses and people!
Last week I posted a Youtube video of a family that took a carriage ride in Central Park on July 31st. At one point the horse began to spook - he got upset and began to move backward away from the source of fear. He tripped and fell -- twice. The woman, Theresa Shaver, got very upset and yelled for her son to run away - she was worried that the carriage would fall. She was also very upset upon seeing the horse down. She loves animals and did not know about the inhumane carriage trade in NYC.
This video was finally reposted after the owner of the video took it down due to the horrible comments people in the horse and carriage industry were making towards her. See for yourself how these animals are treated.
Put back to work right after he fell! In the HOT SUN!
This is going around Youtube. We do not know the woman. She appears to be a tourist who took a carriage ride with a young boy and shortly after, the horse began to spook. She is filming all the while and sees the horse stumbling and falling. She is very upset.
Jane Velez Mitchell covered the NYC carriage horse issue on her show on July 27th. Called Will New York Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages?, Jane interviewed Senator Tony Avella about his new bill to ban horse-drawn carriages and included video footage from Blinders: The Truth Behind the Tradition. Our demo was also picked up on Skype through an Iphone.
Click here to view the video on CNN. Thanks so much to Jane for doing this show. We are so grateful for the coverage, for showing our demo and for listing our web site. www.banhdc.org. We had about 50 people at the demo. Thanks to everyone who came out in the heat.
Unfortunately she could not even get my name right. called me Foley - instead of Forel.
By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times - 7/28/11