Cross-posted from the New York Post
by KATE BRIQUELET
The city is asleep at the reins when it comes to keeping track of retiring carriage horses, animal advocates charge.
Health Department records reveal more questions than answers — showing the whereabouts of only a handful of the 260 Central Park horses that retired between 2009 and 2014.
A review of city documents, meanwhile, reveals that in that time period 225 horses “retired” or left the industry, 28 were sold and seven died.
In dozens of cases, horses weren’t registered as retired or dead until the DOH sent letters to drivers warning of expired licenses or missing health records.
“This is a clear example of the lawlessness inherent in the carriage-horse trade,” said Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS. “And sadly, because of the lack of regulations, horses go missing all the time.”
Animal-welfare activists told The Post drivers dump the horses without caring where they end up. If the steeds fall into a horse auction, they could be sold for their meat to middlemen for Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses.
Carriage operator Chantel Semanchik says it’s no one’s business what happens to the animals once they leave New York.
“If the city provided the stables, seed and hay, then the city can know where the horses go,” said Semanchik, who runs a carriage business in New Jersey and takes in retired Central Park ponies. “But these are privately owned animals. The owners have the right to do what they want.”
• Read full report »
• City yanks license of carriage driver who forced injured horse to work, by Yoav Gonan, May 29, 2014, New York Post
• From http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/tag/carriage-horses/