After Bloody Columbus Circle Carriage-Horse Smashup
For Immediate Release
June 8, 2012
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals
Carriage horse Doreen after accident -- photo credit: NYCLASS/Allie Feldman
New York City-Yesterday evening's latest carriage horse smashup at Columbus Circle resulted in the head of a 12-year-old mare named Doreen bashed into an SUV windshield after being sideswiped by it and a motorcycle in a collision in the notoriously gridlocked and chaotic traffic circle near 60th Street and Broadway.
"Forcing horses to pull tourists in flimsy carriages through traffic-jammed streets is insanity-in the past year, several serious accidents have occurred, and a horse has dropped dead on the street-we call on Mayor Bloomberg to stop justifying this grotesque animal abuse and public safety risk and enact a ban on the exploitative horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC," says Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals.
Pending NY State ban legislation mandates each horse be placed in a sanctuary or refuge once the cruelly antiquated industry is banned-ensuring that the horses won't be sent to slaughter which current law shamefully allows.
Pictures from the accident scene show the smashed windshield and the bloodied, terrified horse, which was reported to be limping after she was brought to her feet and led away by the driver of the carriage. Friends of Animals calls on Mayor Bloomberg to stop this insanity and get these exploited and abused horses off the streets immediately, before another horse gets injured or killed, and before a human tragedy occurs.
We also demand a thorough physical examination be performed on the injured horse by an independent veterinarian-not one paid for by the carriage horse industry. Broken-down carriage horses who are unable to pull carriages any longer and make a profit are usually put up for sale at the New Holland, Pennsylvania auctions-notoriously called the "killer buyer" auctions because it's the last stop before the slaughterhouse for many horses. Friends of Animals helped facilitate the rescue of one such horse in 2010-a former NYC carriage horse too old to make a profit for his owners and who was destined for the slaughterhouse before animal advocates intervened to save him and place him in a sanctuary.
It's clearer than ever that New Yorkers and tourists are fed up with the constant occurrences of bloodied, injured and dead horses, the carriage collisions with motorists and the spooked horses running out of control in traffic as a result of the frightening stimuli and dangerous environment they are forced to endure daily, which also puts the public at a continuous and grave risk.
"Mayor Bloomberg has the opportunity to take these horses out of the living hell they endure in this industry, where horses are denied their most basic instincts while enslaved for forced labor-denied the crucial ability to even run free, graze on grass, move about and socialize with other horses-a shameful tradition of animal exploitation that needs to be banished from our streets," says Edita Birnkrant.
"Mayor Bloomberg: Don't wait for a human death to occur before you wake up to the ugly truth," Birnkrant insists. "Further tragedies will happen in your name as long as you enable this dysfunctional, backward, and inherently abusive industry to operate under your power."
# # #