FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30th, 2010
Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals; Mobile: 917.940.2725; E-mail
Susan Wagner, President, Equine Advocates; Mobile: 917.757.6838; E-mail
New York City–A former NYC carriage horse was rescued from a slaughter auction in Pennsylvania on June 25th by advocates who have been pushing for a ban on the exploitative horse-drawn carriage industry for several years.
Friends of Animals, The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, and Equine Advocates collaborated on rescuing the horse, who was discovered to be for sale at the notorious kill auctions which are the last stop before the slaughterhouse for horses who can no longer turn a profit for their owners. Tens of thousands of horses are trucked to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered every year.
According to records from the Department of Health, this horse, with the ID number of 2873 on his left front hoof, was listed as being owned by someone from the West Side Livery Stable, a privately owned carriage horse stable located at West 37th St, since at least 2005. The horse is now safe in his new home at the Equine Advocates horse sanctuary, in Chatham, NY, where he will live the rest of his life in freedom.
“Having researched carriage horse records for many years, I have learned that about 1/3 of the NYC carriage horses are eliminated from the Department of Health horse registry yearly, totaling approximately 70 horses,” stated Elizabeth Forel, president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. “The current law does not protect any of the horses from going to the kill auctions.”
West Side Livery, whose owners are responsible for the horse ending up at the kill auction, was the site of a shocking investigation last year by Animals Angels, which revealed inadequate standing stalls, sand buckets used for fire protection, and filthy horses tethered to their feed troughs. View investigation here.
Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals said, “The rescue of this carriage horse from slaughter saves one; but other horses are doubtless sent to slaughter by the carriage horse industry-and it has to end. New York City’s proposed Intro 86 will put a legal end to the cycle of auctions, abuse, and death, and I urge Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to pass it into law as soon as possible.”
The lucky former carriage horse, who will be known as Bobby II, will be arriving today to a welcoming reception at Equine Advocates, located in Chatham, NY.
Local school children will join the festivities with posters welcoming Bobby to his new home. The press is invited to visit at any time and should contact Susan Wagner at 917.757.6838 for further inquiries about visiting.
Intro 86, a bill sponsored by Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and strongly supported by Friends of Animals and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, would replace horse-drawn carriages with electric-powered antique cars, and crucially, would amend the current loophole in the law allowing horses to end up at slaughter auctions, and would assure that all former carriage horses were placed in an appropriate sanctuary or refuge.
***Pictures and video of the horse, including the carriage-horse ID number on his left hoof, will be furnished to the media upon request. ***
Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals to live free according to their own terms.