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A Life and Death Without Dignity-NYC Advocates Seek Ban on Horse Carriages

September 19, 2006 | Horses / Press Releases

A Coalition including Friends of Animals, and other groups whose goal is to enact a ban on horse-drawn carriages, once again urges Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Council to pass legislation to end the exploitative carriage horse industry.

We ask the public to boycott carriage horses until they are officially disallowed.

After a string of accidents this year, the latest tragedy occurred September 15th, when a horse named Juliet collapsed in Central Park at 9:30pm, while pulling a carriage. Onlookers were horrified as Mr. Provenzano, the driver of the carriage, began striking Juliet repeatedly in the flank with a whip in an effort to get her on her feet again. Claiming he was acting on advice from his veterinarian, the driver continued whipping the horse--as onlookers yelled at him to stop. A police officer also ordered Provenzano to stop the beating.

Yet officers from the mounted unit arrived at the scene and allowed Provenzano to continue whipping Juliet. Eventually a rug was brought over, which Juliet was placed upon, and she was then dragged into a police trailer and taken to the West Side Livery Stables at 38th St.-finally dying at 5am after several hours of treatment. The ASPCA is currently investigating to ascertain why and how Juliet died, and if this is a criminal case of cruelty. Results of the necropsy are expected within a few days.

Purchased by Provenzano last year for just $1700, Juliet, likely a former farm horse, had been pulling a carriage for at least 17 years. The stable in which she died was effectively her prison.

WHY BAN HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLES IN NEW YORK?

Many modern cities have ended the tradition of animal-drawn vehicles. Why? These animals do not belong in commercial activity that forces them to compete with heavy traffic or be exposed to harsh elements. This is as true in New York City as anywhere in the world.

WHY NOT JUST ALLOW ANIMAL-DRAWN CARRIAGES AT CENTRAL PARK?

Keeping commercial horse activity adjacent to Central Park, as Council Member Tony Avella has proposed, fails to acknowledge that horses would still travel a congested corridor en route to the Park -- also a route for emergency vehicles to and from St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital and Roosevelt Hospital, and a conduit to the Lincoln Tunnel and the West Side Highway.

Edita Birnkrant, a founding member of the Coalition, explains, "Accidents have occurred in Central Park as well as in the streets. Public safety is at risk in the park, which is filled with bicyclists, runners, children and pedestrians. Enough, enough, now! We can't wait for yet another tragedy to occur before the Mayor and City Council take this issue seriously."

Regulating the industry will not stop public safety problems. And regulations seek to sustain a disrespectful practice that needs to be ended in order for New York City to join Toronto, Paris and London as leaders in more enlightened attitudes about nonhuman animals.

The Coalition has drafted legislation which would effectively phase out this industry and seeks to have an adoption program for the horses so they do not go to kill auctions.

What to Do:

~Contact New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and tell him that you strongly support the effort to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC.

People from all over the country and the world are encouraged to contact Mayor Bloomberg, since horse carriages are considered a tourism draw. NYC officials need to hear from potential tourists who are outraged that this exploitative industry exists in NYC, and caters to tourists.

Send an E-Mail now.

Telephone: 311 or 212-NEW YORK- (outside NYC)

FAX: 212.788.2460

Mail

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

More info can be found at www.nyc.gov

~New Yorkers should also contact their City Council Member and ask them to support legislation that will ban the horse-drawn carriage industry.

Comments

As the largest carriage horse owner in nyc,we have 40 yrs expiereience with actual work horses,plus we have a key family member who worked for the NYC Mounted Police over 30 yrs.All these so called experts,proved to be bias and phony,cause there is no way a trained eye can't see who well cared for and healthy these horses are.NYC Horses are in 8 million people's eyes daily,they wouldn't look this round and shiny if they got any less than 100% care and upkeep.Where are these 'experts'',if they are,to actually ask to assist a owner rather than cast stones,as this works against the horse.When we need a equine vet asap,where are the se experts to help call,or locate a emergency vet to help at the stable or on the street if needed??

As cruel as it seems if the horse was in a colic trying to get Juliet back up on her feet by beating her - her owner was trying to save her life by getting her up and walking. Non horse and inexperienced horse people do not understand this. [Blog editors' note: Obviously it was not a successful plan. One thing we all can understand: It's not just experience and horse-peoplehood that an owner of a carriage horse has; to such a person, an animal represents money or a job.]

The editor of this website also reguards our industry to gain$$$ as well,leading the honest real animal loving people to dish out money,when it only lines the pockets of those people who careless about the animals.This editor,for sure never actually been in a stable or had any 1st hand expierience with our business.Juliet's death,even though extremly sad,is a rare satistic in NYC,and the owner was never charged with a violation of doing anything wrong,in fact he followed his Vet's orders exactly.The ASPCA,was extremly understanding and with team effort,consoled eachother,rememberin the good times and happiness Juliet brought to so many lives.The new replacement horse was bought from all the donations that flooded in to the owner,and named after a Westchester Dr,who helped select the Beligan Draft.

FIVE OF US WENT TO NYC SUNDAY TO SEE THE PLAY "INHERIT THE WIND." THE FIRST TIME I SAW IT WAS MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO, BUT IT'S JUST AS RELEVANT TODAY. THE PLAY ENDED AT 5 PM, BUT THE TRAFFIC WAS HORRENDOUS. IT TOOK US 90 MINUTES TO GO ABOUT 5-6 BLOCKS TO REACH THE LINCOLN TUNNEL. INTO THIS MISERABLE SITUATION COMES A HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE TO SHOW TOURISTS THE SIGHTS. #1, WHY WOULD SIGHTSEERS WANT TO BE IN ALL THAT TRAFFIC WITH ALL THOSE NOXIOUS FUMES? IN AN OPEN CARRIAGE? BUT THE POOR HORSE, TRYING TO WEAVE IN AND OUT OF THE GRIDLOCK. IF SOMEBODY'S FENDER GETS DENTED, WHO CARES. BUT THE HORSE? THE SHEER PANIC, THE REARING OF THE HEAD, AND THE BREATHING OF ALL THOSE FUMES. THERE'S NO FURTHER DESCRIPTION I'M GOING TO GIVE…. IT RUINED A WONDERFUL DAY AND IT HAUNTS ME TO THIS MOMENT.

What a drama queen! The NYC Mounted Police blend in as well as the carriage horses,tell me what the difference is.Horses adopt to any situation if they like doing what they are doing,some adjust,some don't,in which they go back to the place they were purchased and resold for a different line of work.

It lends no weight to anyone's viewpoint to insult people expressing concerns about these horses. If anything is a real drama here it's the idea that horses just move between lines of work if they don't like what they are doing. The very point that they are purchased and resold demonstrates the bleakness of their situations.

Anita, It's disrespectful to assume that we have the right to dictate which "line of work" any animal should be indentured to. Of more interest to those who support justice should be helping the animal exploiters - not the animals - find different lines of work.

Edita,Horses are animals,they rely on their owners to decide what ''line of work'' they do ,mostly according to their breed.Draft horses pull,Throughbreds,Standardbreds race,etc.....This is not cruel for a nimal to have a job,even pleasure horses are ''working'''. As long as the horses are well cared for and loved,is what really counts.

Anita, I would like to share some words with you from Alice Walker, African-American author and feminist: The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.

I was recently sent a brochure to ban horse drawn carriages in New York City. I can see where some people abuse their animals but most love and care for their animals. Horses enjoy working and being with people. I feel that banning is too extreme and that lesser measures should be taken to prevent possible abuse.

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