Save the NYC Horsesrandall says
Hey, lovers! As you know, I was born and raised in New York City, the hub of fashion, glamour, the best theater, the greatest restaurants and, shockingly, home to more than 200 sad and abused horses. What?! You mean those cute carriage horses? Yes, those romantic images of carriage horses gliding through a snowy Central Park are simply an illusion. The reality of this situation is these poor horsies live miserable lives, and it is up to us to save them. Did you know that, on average, an NYPD horse will live roughly 15-17 years, while carriage horses tend to last no more than 4 years of life? Hopefully, that woke you up just a little.
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This issue has recently come into the public consciousness (once again) due to an incident back on Aug. 16, 2012. A sweet horse named Oreo was pulling his carriage in traffic when he got spooked by a loud noise. He bolted. Rightfully so! I mean, give me a break! He was greatly injured, as were his passengers. He was found waiting at a red light behind a car, trying to get back to his stable. So sad. This is but one of the many horrible incidents involving carriage horses. Horses have been hit, maimed and killed. I mean, what the heck is an innocent horse doing stuck in traffic?! This is 2012, right? Or is it 1812? I'm sorry, but last I checked, the Amish lived mainly in Pennsylvania (where, coincidentally, many of these horses come from), not in Manhattan. Horses should be roaming in pastures. We have cars now! Get these sweet creatures out of hot, fume-filled, urban landscapes and out into nature where they belong.
Here's the low-down, lovers: right now there are roughly 204 carriage horses working in New York City. By law, they can work nine hours per day, seven days per week. They are supposed to get a 15-minute break every two hours, but there is no way to enforce this. The "carriage horse police?" Puh-lease!
It is illegal for a driver to operate his carriage if it is above 90 degrees or below 18 degrees. Unfortunately these numbers do not take into account humidity levels or wind chill. So if the thermometer reads 89 degrees, no problem! "Move it, horsey!" Even if it feels like 100 degrees and the heat is rising up from the hot black asphalt? "Up yours," says the horse! In the summer of 1988, three horses died from heat exhaustion. Thus, a law was created restricting when and where the horses could work. However, in 1994, the law was weakened by lengthening the horses' work hours while expanding their "work areas," which includes traffic-congested midtown Manhattan, where they spend their days sucking in nasty fumes, nose to tail-pipe. Gross!
And FYI, these horses are required by law to be get five weeks of vacay a year, but low and behold, there's no way of enforcing this law and is most likely not being upheld. The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department is supposed to be in charge of monitoring the horses' treatment, but there are hardly enough agents to keep up with the proper monitoring of the horses (Good grief, all 200 of them? Whoa, watch out! That's way too many... not!). Law also states the horses' stalls are to be a minimum of 60 square feet, less than half of what is recommended by equine experts, all of whom recommend 144 square feet for a standard-size horse, with 196 square feet for larger-breed horses. They have absolutely no room to comfortably lie down and are not given the proper bedding to be even mildly comfortable.
The list of mistreatments towards these horses goes on and on, and frankly, it makes me cry. Their grains are spread out on the street where it can mix with dirt and glass, they don't get enough water (especially in the hot summer), and many of the horses forced into this stupid "industry" already have pre-existing injuries or arthritis. And so there they are, forced to pull carriages with heavy tourists weighing up to 7,800 pounds. When they can no longer do their job, they are "retired." Many of them go to auction where they are bought by "killer buyers" for the slaughterhouse. Enjoy your ride, tourists!
So what exactly is being done and what can we do to help?
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New York State Senator Tony Avella and New York Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal co-sponsored a bill calling for a ban on the operation of horse-drawn carriages in New York City. The bill also calls to save the horses from slaughter auctions. And yeah, Mayor Bloomberg supports the carriage horse "industry" because he says "it helps New York City tourism." Yeah, because it's oh-so very, very hard finding ways to get tourists to visit New York City. Puh-lease with that horses---!
London, Beijing, Paris and Toronto all have bans on the inhumane horse-drawn-carriage industry. Let's join them and do the same for Manhattan! Please visit these links, watch my video and help me make a change. Saving ourselves starts with saving our animals. Spread the word, share this information and demand the end of cruelty! Sign the petition:
You can also donate or sponsor a rescued horse at http://www.equineadvocates.org/
Write a letter right now to Mayor Bloomberg who supports the carriage-horse "industry," and let him know how you feel about this inhumane practice:
Mayor R. Bloomberg
New York, NY 10007
or email him: www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html
or call 212-NEW-YORK