AS REPORTED BY COALITION TO BAN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES
by Elizabeth Forel
On Monday December 8, 2014, New York Council Member Daniel Dromm introduced a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. The bill was assigned to the Transportation Committee. See language of the bill here.
• The industry will be shut down by May 31, 2016 when the current licenses expire. They will not be renewed.
• Owners are prohibited from sending their horses to slaughter and are required to submit documentation to this effect.
• The maximum fine for violating any of the provisions of this law has been increased to $25,000.
• The drivers will be offered extensive job training for other industries
• The drivers will also be offered free a medallion for green or “hail” taxis, worth about $6,000.
• The administration is required to do an Environmental Impact Study on the effect of shutting down this business.
• During that time, no legislative hearings or vote may be taken on this bill. We have been told it can take up to six months to complete.
This is a portion of the speech from the introduction of the bill:
“We the human beings of New York are the guardians of our animal companions, both wild and domesticated. Whenever cruelty and endangerment is so clearly documented and brought to our attention, we must act. This bill is simply that–government stepping in to correct a grave injustice. Views in society evolved on issues from civil rights to environmental protection, and animal issues are no different.
The longevity of our horse carriages is no defense to the overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty and endangerment that has been, and will continue to be, presented to us. It is not appropriate for any living creature, outside of a motor vehicle, to be in the middle of New York City traffic. It was never OK, but what has changed is the increasing compassion and caring we have for animals. For us to pretend horse-drawn carriages are OK ‘because it looks pretty’ or to certain tourists it is part of a tradition is unacceptable. We need to protect good jobs that do not rely on such odious practices. This bill generously extends to these drivers options to help them transition to jobs that do not abuse animals.”
— New York City Residents
Please take the time to call your Council Member and ask them to support Intro 573 — the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages.
• Find your New York Council Member here.
• Please do not email. It is not effective. Instead CALL their District Office.
WHAT TO SAY
Introduce yourself and say you are a constituent. Tell them that you would like the Council Member to sign on to Intro 573, the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. You will probably speak with the person who answers the phone so they will not ask you more. HOWEVER, if they say that the Council Member is undecided – ASK THEM WHY and the Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages at firstname.lastname@example.org. THIS IS CRUCIAL.
At the time of this writing, the following Council Members have taken a position on this bill:
SUPPORT: These council members have signed on to support the bill: Daniel Dromm , Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Margaret S. Chin, Mark Levine, Helen K. Rosenthal. Important! Please call their offices and thank them for their support.
OPPOSED: These Council Members have come out in opposition to the bill. Vincent Ignizo, Steven Matteo, Vincent Gentile, Elizabeth Crowley, Mark Treyger, Mark Weprin, Andy King, Robert Cornegy, Costa Constantinides, Corey Johnson, Daneek Miller, Jumaane Williams.
— OUTSIDE NYC?
If you live outside NYC, you may call Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito at 212-828-9800, and express your support of Intro 573 and a ban on horse drawn carriages.