NYC Mayor signs off on animal bill that helps carriage horses

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)

Finally. Some encouraging news for New York City’s carriage horses.

New York City took another step towards the protection of animals across the city on Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing off on a new law that included carriage horses.

The legislation limits when horse carriages can operate in hot weather — six years after pledging to rid the city of the industry entirely.

Central Park’s carriage horses are already banned from working when temperatures hit 90 degrees or more in the summer and when it’s 18 degrees or below in the winter.

But the legislation signed by de Blasio would also prohibit carriage horses from working when temperatures hit 80 degrees and the “equine heat index” — the sum of the temperature and the relative humidity at any point — is at least 150. This will potentially increase the number of weather related suspensions from 24 to 44 which threatens the livelihood of the carriage horse business in New York.

A group called NYCLASS has pushed lawmakers to end the carriage industry for years, although critics of the group note its co-founder Steve Nislick, a real estate developer, has also in the past lobbied the mayor for an affordable housing plan in the neighborhood around Manhattan’s largest carriage stable.

After de Blasio’s 2013 campaign got a financial boost from NYCLASS, he promised to completely ban Central Park horse carriages “on day one.” The effort failed spectacularly, though the city limited pickups to inside the park in 2018 at the urging of NYCLASS.

“The mayor signing this bill indicates that he is part of NYCLASS’s systematic effort to destroy the carriage horses,” carriage driver Christina Hansen said, saying the bill was “unscientific.”

RELATED READING

In His 5th Year as Mayor, de Blasio Finally Acts on Horse-Carriage Pledge, New York Times, Aug 30, 2018 (Note: Mayor Bill de Blasio directed his administration to move the Central Park location where horse carriages wait for passengers to five boarding areas within the park only.)

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.

Runaway carriage horse slams into taxi in heart of Manhattan

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)

MANHATTAN, NYC — It is almost unbelievable the way yesterday’s runaway carriage horse incident is being reported. Not so much factually as spiritually.

UPDATE. March 16, 2017, 1:55 pm EST. Via PIX 11 News, New York.

An out-of-control horse backpedalled in the middle of a midtown street during the Monday morning rush, authorities said.

Two horses were being taken from a nearby stable to Central Park, where they give carriage rides. It was near Eighth Avenue and 55th Street that one of the horses became startled.  Read more, view video story »

Reportage

Here is what was commonly reported.

A carriage horse bolted on the streets of Midtown Monday morning galloping through several streets before slamming into a yellow cab.

The horse’s head ended up against the taxi with one of his hooves jammed under the front left wheel.

Unattributed image posted by The Daily Mail.
Unattributed image posted by The Daily Mail.

The horse had not been pulling a carriage at the time he broke free and ran away. Witnesses say they believe he escaped from the place where he was being kept.

The runaway horse was checked over at the scene of the accident and said to “look okay”.

That was it. Checked over. Looked okay. Nothing about having a licensed veterinarian taking a look at the horse. I suppose with complaints now flowing in they will say they did that once they got him back to the garage, ahem … I mean, stable.

Speaking of getting the horse back to where he was kept, how about this?

They did not walk the runaway horse gently back to his multi story parking garage type stable. Nor did they call for a vehicle to transport him there as in other carriage horse accidents (the horse’s accommodation was assumed but not verified as being close by).

They saddled him up to be ridden back to his claustrophobic digs.  Perhaps this is what motivated our runaway horse to escape in the first place —  to taste a just bit of momentary freedom.

The above is a summation from what various news outlets are reporting in common on this story.

Horse Drawn Carriage Trade

There is nothing natural about the conditions carriage horses live and work in, particularly in cities like Manhattan. More often than not these conditions are mentally and physically cruel. What more do you need to know?

We love what one protester wrote on her placard a few years ago: “It’s 2014, Not 1814”.

Take Action

Contact Mayor DeBlasio whether you live in New York or not — but especially if you live there — and complain about carriage horse abuse and practices and challenge him to at long last fulfill his election campaign promise to ban it. No more excuses, such as in 2015 when DeBlasio blamed the NY City Council for his failure. Sorry Mr. Mayor. No sale.

Think about what you want to say and send the Mayor of New York City a letter, an online message or telephone his office to have your important say.

Contact Information

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Online message form.

Telephone number: 212-504-4115.

Just Like Oreo

How we wish a star like Jon Stewart would step in and save this runaway horse. This horse reminds us of former NYC carriage horse Oreo who also escaped,  but he ended up in greener pastures. Read about Oreo here.

Related Reading

Daily Mail; James Gordon, May 15, 2017.

Their Turn. See http://theirturn.net/tag/horse-drawn-carriages/ to learn more.

FEATURED IMAGE
Group Protests Horse-Drawn Carriages Outside Gracie Mansion. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Compromise carriage horse plan for NYC falters when Teamsters withdraw support

We were never in favor of this bill but have been following it. We initially had a decent working relationship with the Mayor’s Office but they became increasingly unreceptive to the idea of the Mayor doing what it takes to keep his campaign promises. So we have moved our efforts to Albany. —Editor

CBS NEW YORK REPORTS:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The City Council is postponing a vote on a bill to restrict horse-drawn carriages to Central Park after the Teamsters Union withdrew its support, citing concerns about their jobs.

The vote on the compromised plan, which was initially supported by the union, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, was set to take place on Friday.

But the Teamsters announced Thursday that they can’t support the bill in its current form.

“The Teamsters’ first priority is always our members and their livelihoods,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16 which represents the horse-drawn carriage workers. “With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry. We cannot support the horse carriage bill currently before the City Council.”

Mark-Viverito said the bill “was negotiated in good faith and was contingent on an agreement between the administration, the Teamsters, and the City Council.”

“The Council will not vote on any horse carriage-related legislation on Friday since the Teamsters no longer support the deal.”

The proposal called for several changes, including reducing the number of licensed horses and limiting them to Central Park where the animals would live in tax-payer funded stables.

It also included a ban on pedicabs from operating in Central Park below 85th Street.

Read full report »


Featured Image Source:
http://carriagehorseproject.blogspot.com/