NYC Mayor failing carriage horses yet again

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: A carriage horse trots near Central Park on April 21, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made a campaign pledge to ban carriages in Central Park. As the horse carriage industry, which mainly takes tourists through the park, has come under criticism from animal welfare agencies, many New Yorkers are voicing their support for the horses and drivers. On Saturday animal welfare activists protested in front of actor Liam Neeson's home after he wrote a newspaper piece in support of the carriage horses. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY: A carriage horse trots near Central Park on April 21, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made a campaign pledge to ban carriages in Central Park. As the horse carriage industry, which mainly takes tourists through the park, has come under criticism from animal welfare agencies, many New Yorkers are voicing their support for the horses and drivers. On Saturday animal welfare activists protested in front of actor Liam Neeson’s home after he wrote a newspaper piece in support of the carriage horses. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

We don’t know about you but we are more than fed up with New York City Mayor deBlasio.

DeBlasio initially ran on a ticket that included helping the City’s miserably treated carriages horses, then sold the horses out the moment he was elected. He has huffed and puffed about it since then, but in actuality hasn’t done a damn thing for them. Until now he thinks. It is not true.

In an email shout out, the “Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages” have exposed deBlasio’s latest smoke and mirror tactic.

We quote that email:

NEW MAYORAL PROPOSAL IS NO WALK IN THE PARK

The deBlasio administration recently announced a “big win” for the NYC carriage horses with the relocation of the hack line on Central Park South to five locations within Central Park. Some people are unfortunately buying this alternative reality.

Below is a list of the five proposed hack lines.  For a more detailed description of the proposal, please look at last week’s newsletter.  Click Here.

1.  AT W. 72ND STREET OFF CENTRAL PARK WEST

This hack line will be about 130′ long and will offer no shade for the horses.  The carriages will also be required to travel 13 blocks north on Central Park West, mixing with heavy traffic.

The larger lane shown on the street below is for parking; the narrower one is for bikes.  The carriages will travel with the other traffic to reach this destination.

2.  AT W. 67th NEAR TAVERN ON THE GREEN

This is currently being used for carriages.  There is no shade and carriages will need to travel up Central Park West to access it.

3. NEAR 7TH AVENUE OFF CENTRAL PARK SOUTH

This is one of two locations off Central Park South; again there is no shade.  To access this location, carriages will drive from their stables on the far west side of Manhattan reaching Central Park South where they will make an illegal U-turn to the 7th Avenue location.

4.  NEAR 5TH AVENUE OFF CENTRAL PARK SOUTH

This is the other location off Central Park South; also no shade for the horses.  Drivers will also need to make an illegal U-turn to access this location.

The existing water troughs are off 6th Avenue and near Grand Army Plaza (but not the new hack line.) The carriages will need to do some fancy maneuvering to reach them — especially the carriages at the 7th Avenue location.

5.  AT E. 72ND STREET OFF FIFTH AVENUE

The carriages will be making illegal U-turns on Central Park South to access the roads in the park to take them to this location.  This will be the easiest way to get to this new location since Fifth Avenue is one way — downtown.

*   *   *

The Mayor and those who support this proposal say that the horses will be out of traffic and have shade and water in the park. None of this is true. It is not a “big win.” It was done to placate his supporters.

ACCIDENTS: Carriage drivers are not required to report accidents. So unless the public knows about it and gets the NYPD and/or media involved – it never happened. It is to a carriage driver’s benefit not to report an accident that will hurt the reputation of the trade.

ACCIDENT STATISTICS: We have recorded 103 accidents since 1982. 19 of those have been at or near the hack line that is proposed to be relocated. But 14 of them happened in Central Park. The balance of 70 happened around the city in different areas. The accidents were typical — horses spooking, collapsing, crashing into something or being crashed into; dead horses.

This works out to 81.5% of all recorded accidents occurring away from the hack line — inside Central Park and around the city. Only 18.5% occurred at or near the hack line.

CARS: While cars are no longer allowed in Central Park, certain vehicles are, which include NYPD cars and emergency vehicles and Parks Dept. vehicles. In addition, there are hoards of people, cyclists, skateboarders and pedicabs in the park.

This is Horse Shit New York. Ban the Horse Drawn Carriage Trade Now.
Feel free to copy and use this image in your social media messages especially Twitter. Be sure to tag it well!

Interestingly, the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico signed an executive order banning horse-drawn carriages. He signed the ban four days after a carriage horse collapsed on the street. Just saying.

Help These Horses

Visit the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages website to find out what you can do! (http://banhdc.org). Please like their page at https://www.facebook.com/BanHDC/.

Here are more ideas from the Coalition to Ban-Horse Drawn Carriages email letter:

1. Don’t drink the kool-aid. Please question and think for yourself.

2. Post a comment on the Department of Transportation website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.

3. Testify at the Department of Transportation hearing on October 3rd at 1pm. The Bid Room at 55 Water Street, Concourse Level. Call 212-839-6500.

Use Social Media!

Spread the word on social media, especially if you are in the New York City area. But it doesn’t matter if you are not. Tourists from around the world visit NYC!

Here are some tags to use particularly on Twitter.

#banhorsedrawncarriages #carriagehorses  #manhattan #nyc #nycgov #billdeblasio

@deblasio @nycmayor @billdeblasio @newyorkcity

Before We Go

“Mayor deBlasio was on the Brian Lehrer show recently. At one point, a man named Craig called in and said he had looked at all five of the proposed new locations and that they provided no shade for the horses. The Mayor seemed surprised. (Oops). But then he caught himself and dismissively said that the carriages do not stay in any place long enough since they are continuously busy with passengers — so they will not be harmed by the sun.” How glib! But this is not true.

Protesters call for a ban on horse drawn carriages in New York City. BanHDC.org.
Protesters call for a ban on horse drawn carriages in New York City. BanHDC.org.

Too hot to trot and more

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: A carriage horse eats by Central Park moments before all drivers were ordered to return to the stables due to heat on August 10, 2018 in New York City. According to New York City administrative code, all carriage horses used in tourism must immediately stop working and return to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Animal rights activists, who want to permanently end the carriage horse business in the city, say many drivers ignore the law or linger in the park looking for customers long after an alert has been issued. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 10: A carriage horse eats by Central Park moments before all drivers were ordered to return to the stables due to heat on August 10, 2018 in New York City. According to New York City administrative code, all carriage horses used in tourism must immediately stop working and return to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Animal rights activists, who want to permanently end the carriage horse business in the city, say many drivers ignore the law or linger in the park looking for customers long after an alert has been issued. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CARRIAGE HORSES) The carriage horse industry is a cruel and insidious business resulting in long term abuse, injury and even death to the horses used.

Carriage horse workers routinely claim they need no rules because they can self rule, that their horses are treated right, or that agreed on protective measures are already in place and all is well.

What’s ironic about these measures put into place by well meaning people, is that they are what a decent human being responsible for any animal would know that they should and should not do to provide proper care.

By all reports health and safety guidelines for carriage horses have not worked that we know of. Not even close, because they are not met nor are they enforced. They are largely ignored. So carriage horse workers continue to house and work horses as they have always done,  and the terrible life that carriage horses daily suffer goes on as before.

Case in point. Right now carriage horses are being worked in New York City during the current heat wave. This is going on in other cities as well. However, the issue caught the attention of One Green Planet, or should we say was brought to their attention — by NYCLASS.

The One Green Planet article is entitled, “WTH?! Visibly Uncomfortable Horse Forced to Carry Tourists During NYC Heat Advisory Shows Why Carriages Have to Go! (VIDEO)”. Yet further on in the article a ban is not called for, but more . . . you guessed it — reforms. Proposed by none other than NYCLASS.

Reforms are exactly what is NOT required.

The carriage horse trade in Manhattan and in cities around the country do what they damn well please in the face of whatever reforms and protective measures are in place.

Blessedly a few of the worst stables housing carriage horses have shut down in Manhattan, but only because they were forced to due to encroaching redevelopment. This was predicted.

Here are the City’s guidelines for Horses Working in NYC. You see no one is enforcing them or the carriage horses would not be on the streets working during this year’s dangerous heat waves.

Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. He finally collapsed in 98 degree heat and was unable to get up. He had to be dragged into a trailer and hauled back to the barn. After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died shortly thereafter. Image source: Peta.
Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. He finally collapsed in 98 degree heat and was unable to get up. He had to be dragged into a trailer and hauled back to the barn. After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died shortly thereafter. Image source: Peta.

BAN IT!

There is only one solution to end the day-to-day misery and abuse of carriage horses. We must ban the carriage horse trade in American cities. End of story.

While we are grateful that a few carriage horse businesses are dwindling and dying out because of groups like ours and concerned citizens like you who are raising our voices, we need to do more.

Please use social media to call for the ban of the the carriage horse trade in your area. Do it with us or someone like us, but please do it!

We are putting together a social media campaign. If you would like to help, please share your ideas in comments or email us with samples of attention grabbing slogans and statements and who you think should be targeted and where. If you have or can take pictures of carriage horses working in the heat in your area or while on vacation, please share them.

Thank you everyone!

New York State lawmakers interested in tracking retired racehorses

Thoroughbred racehorse. Unattributed image.
Thoroughbred racehorse. Unattributed image.

HORSE RACING (via the Blood-Horse online). By Tom Precious, October 26, 2017.

An effort to mandate the tracking of retired racehorses in New York has now picked up support in both houses of the state Legislature.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo, a Queens Democrat who represents Aqueduct Racetrack, recently introduced a measure to create a seven-member Commission on Retired Racehorses to monitor the whereabouts and treatment of retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. The new Senate bill by Addabbo, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, is the same as one introduced in the Assembly earlier this year by Gary Pretlow, a Westchester County Democrat who chairs that chamber’s racing committee.

“Horses have played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States,” a bill memo accompanying the legislation states, noting that racehorses in New York have generated billions of dollars in economic activity in the state.

“Despite what they may have contributed, many horses at a young age (that) are no longer profitable or affordable for the owner, wind up in international slaughterhouses to be inhumanely slaughtered for consumption abroad where horse meat is a major delicacy,” the bill memo adds.

The bill puts reporting requirements on horse owners, requiring reports to be filed with the state within 72 hours of any ownership change of a retired racehorse, along with contact information about owners and other recordkeeping rules. The death of a former racehorse must also be reported to a state registry within 72 hours. Each violation of the measure’s provisions can be assessed a fine up to $500–if violators are a resident of New York State.

Using Jockey Club data, the NYSGC spent nearly two years compiling the whereabouts of every New York-bred Thoroughbred that raced between 2010 and 2012. Of 3,894 horses that raced in that period, the commission was able to locate 1,871 horses. Of those, 356 were deceased, three sold at auction and 1,512 were retired in some form, such as 604 retired as broodmares or 155 adopted.

Read full report »

A young horse just died at this Racetrack — and no one’s talking about it

His was the third death in just two months.

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.
Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.

THE DODO | BY SARAH V. SCHWEIG | JULY 26, 2017 | Link to Article

A 3-year-old thoroughbred horse named Wanztbwicked was euthanized on the Saratoga racetrack on Saturday after breaking down during training — he’s the third horse to die at the New York track in just two months — and no one’s really even talking about it.

That’s because casualties like this are the norm for horse racing. Hundreds of horses die on tracks in the U.S. every year.

In just New York state so far this year, over 50 horses have died at racetracks and many more have been injured. Last year, at Saratoga alone, 17 horses died from racing-related injuries.

Part of the reason so many young racehorses die is because of a lack of regulation on drugs administered to the animals, according to Vivian Grant Farrell, founder and president of The Horse Fund, an organization that promotes horse welfare. Farrell said that horses are commonly given drugs to mask preexisting injuries so that they can “run through the pain,” and this compromises their safety.

“Man and animal alike love to do what they were created to. Racehorses love to run. But some even go so far as to believe that racehorses love to compete. Perhaps, but not in the way a human being does. In the instance of horse racing, too often humans project insatiable appetites for money and glory onto the performance of these magnificent animals,” Farrell told The Dodo after a young horse died at the Belmont Stakes in 2015. And little has changed since that death, and so many others.

“Horses continue to die unnecessarily on America’s racetracks,” Jane Allin, research writer for The Horse Fund, told The Dodo.

One of the most memorable deaths on the track was a horse named Eight Belles, who was euthanized at the Kentucky Derby after getting injured on May 3, 2008. “It was her tragic death that spurred a major undertaking to address the pervasive use of drugs — both therapeutic and performance-enhancing — in every division of horse racing occurring on the tracks across the U.S.,” Allin said. “Since this time, has anything really changed?”

Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.

In terms of drug use, nothing has changed, according to Allin. “Year after year, the racing industry meets to discuss and argue about developing new regulations … but the industry itself is divided and so the ideas of many well-intentioned individuals are mired in disagreement,” she said.

Allin pointed out that Saratoga, like other tracks across the nation, has a history of death. “With the rampant use of drugs in North America, unlike other jurisdictions in the world, there is certainty that horses are compromised, leading to a greater number of fatalities on the track, reported or not,” Allin said. “It seems no horse is immune to these abhorrent practices… Horse racing in North America is a sham. Until real changes [take place], racing here will continue down the ugly path of deceit and death.”

Even if better regulations pass, there are other problems that cast a dark cloud over the industry. “There are some horse racing jurisdictions that are highly praised such as Hong Kong where drug abuse is virtually nonexistent. However, gambling is the heartbeat of horse racing and it has much more to do with running ‘clean’ races, which bettors in their culture demand, than any consideration for the racehorse,” Farrell told The Dodo. For instance, it is not uncommon for ex-racehorses to be shipped to slaughter or die of neglect. “How can you make an industry humane that for decades has been dumping racehorses of no further use to them in slaughterhouses?” Farrell said.

Read full article »

Additional Reading

Horse Racing Special Reports, Jane Allin »
Horseracing Wrongs, Patrick Battuello »
Racehorses Killed in 2017, Patrick Battuello »

Featured Image

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.