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Since this issue has gone viral — as you can see, I am from Virginia — I wish to join with those protesting this abuse of horses and ask that horse-drawn carriages be discontinued as soon as possible.

It is not only the horses over which I am concerned, but the possibility that humans could be gravely hurt or killed if one of those horses is spooked by traffic or some other loud disturbance. I have signed the petition to bring an end to this nightmare scenario and I would not ride in one of those carriages for any amount of money because I would fear for my life and that of that poor horse drawing the carriage.

For Lord’s sake, stop putting profit ahead of human and animal lives. That is the trouble today in this country: All industry is putting profit ahead of life and the environment, and it needs to stop and stop now.

Richard W. Firth

Mechanicsville, Va.

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Rachel Silberman from Cobble Hill says:
The horse carriage industry is fed only by greed at this point. These poor creatures are made to suffer through extreme weather conditions, traffic, lack of basic needs at times, ie water and food. All in the name of NYC tourist attractions. Enough. Stop this barbaric practice now.
Jan. 21, 2012, 9:27 am
Jessica from Chelsea says:
It's unfortunate that it took the recent accidents for people to realize how horrible this industry is but better late than never. The suffering of these animals cannot be denied.
Jan. 21, 2012, 9:57 am
Alexis from Prospect Park, Brooklyn says:
The horse carriage industry has got to go. It's greedy, cruel, inhumane, and New Yorkers have had enough. Please stop this disgusting industry once and for all. We're fed up and we demand it to stop.
Jan. 21, 2012, 12:02 pm
Dan from Hoboken, NJ says:
Animals aren't meant to walk on congested asphalt streets with machines (cars) whizzing past them.
Jan. 21, 2012, 12:57 pm
Elizabeth Forel from Manhattan says:
Thanks for publishing this letter and to everyone for your comments. Please support Senator Tony Avella's and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal's bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. Sign our petition on line:
http://www.change.org/petitions/ban-horse-drawn-carriages-in-new-york-city-new-bill-needs-support

Lobby Day is May 1, 2012. If you want to know more, contact Senator Avella's office - or e-mail us at coalition@banhdc.org

The reason Senator Avella's bill did not go anywhere in the City Council when he was a Council Member had nothing to do with a lack of interest as the Times Ledger stated in their original article. But it had everything to do with Speaker Christine Quinn being very supportive of the carriage industry. Council Members have no power when it comes to passing their bills because it is all controlled by the Speaker as she demands loyalty through lulus $$ and committee chairs. We hope the state legislature will be more democratic.

It is time for this inhumane and unsafe business to be shut down. Since 2006, every media poll has resulted in at least 75% of respondents voting in favor of a ban of the industry.

And BTW - per the new bill - the horses will be saved, which is more than i can say for them now.

Please work with us on this very important issue.

Elizabeth Forel
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
www.banhdc.org
coalition@banhdc.org
Jan. 22, 2012, 10:19 am
Bart from East Village says:
There's a solution that will save the lives of horses & humans...AND the livelihood of drivers -- the all-electric "horseless carriage". Look at www.nyclass.org
Jan. 22, 2012, 6:12 pm
Mrs. H.B. Willis from Louisiana says:
I have been watching this campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages from NYC very closely because the radical animal rights extremists who have created the "controversy" and have kept the issue alive for more than 20 years really have as their goal the banning of ALL horse-drawn carriages EVERYWHERE.

As a carriage horse owner this concerns me very much because these people are spreading misinformation and are trying to destroy the livelihoods of small business people just like me. Sure, for now they are focused on NYC because if they can suceed in banning carriages there, they figure it will be much easier to get them banned elsewhere.

I am tired of seeing assertions and opinions being passed off as "facts" by these radicals. Carriage driving is NOT cruel or abusive and I am tired watching my fellw carriage horse owners and drivers being slandered and libeled. I also do not appreciate being labeled a "horse abuser" by association since I drive a carrage, too.

I would like to remind everyone that horses helped people become civilized and city dwellers. They helped the colonists settle and build NYC. The motor vehicle is a fairly recent invention when viewed through the lens of history. With the rising costs of fossel fuels and their increasing scarcity, motor vehicles may themselves become a "passing fad." One should hope so when the pollution and illness they have caused is taken into consideration.

But that is not the point of my response. I would urge Richard W. Firth to investigate the issue of horse-drawn carriages in NYC and elsewhere for himself befor he takes the word of people like E. Forel, who heads up an organization formed to outlaw carriage use worldwide.

Two good places to start are easily accessable websites: www.equiculture.org the official website of the NYC carriage horse retirement farm and www.youtube.com/user/StopLiesSeeTruth, a channel that has many videos made by a carriage driver in NYC. Of interest are the videos that show the horrendous heckling and harassment the carriage drivers and their passengers are subjected to on a weekly basis.

Carriage hroses are loved and valued by their owners. They receive the best care their owners can provide. In return for their work, they have safe, comfortable housing, plenty of feed and hay, necessary vet and farrier care and -- those in NYC, by law receive 5 weeks vacation annually.

There are three different NYC agencies charged with protecting these horses and acting for their welfare. They work only 9 hours a day and do not work when temps are 90 or above or 18 or below.

It is time for people to stop listening to the ravings of a vocal few extremists who value animal rights as being equal or superior to human rights. The NYC carriage horses are better housed and fed than many children in NYC-- now THERE is someting to be upset about and write letters to newpapers about.
Jan. 22, 2012, 8:14 pm
Laurie from Maspeth, NY says:
Mrs. Willis, while I and many others do not take the issue of destroying another person's livelihood lightly, I find that I am losing patience with those who frame "animal rights" as being opposed to "human rights", when most often what animal activists stand in opposition to is *profit*---the ability for someone else to make a buck off the (literal) back of an animal. I don't mean to be unkind to you, because I am sure you do treat your horses well, but please don't cheapen the debate by falling back on the animals versus people trick, or the "what about abused children" line. It's overdone and savvy readers don't fall for it anymore.

Secondly, I think you may be a bit selective in your retelling when you speak of the abuse and harassment drivers are subject to. Each time I have walked on 59th street and witnessed the parked cabs alongside protesters, it is usually the drivers, red faced, who are heckling the protesters, and not the other way around.

My father raised horses for many years, and if I absorbed nothing else from him, I got this: horses need to be turned out regularly to enjoy any kind of quality of life. They need to run, or graze---it's basic and non negotiable. They shouldn't go from a 9 hour workday behind a bus to a dank stable on the west side, day in and day out until they are useless. That *is* cruelty---just because it's passive deprivation instead of beatings doesn't make it any less immoral. Horses also deserve to be rewarded for their service when they can no longer work, not sent to auction like yesterday's garbage or pet food. I'm sure you do your best to honor the horses who help you feed your family, because in any industry there are always those gems who find a way to go above and beyond, but what this debate boils down to is that New Yorkers just don't trust the industry *as a whole* to offer socialization and exercise to these animals, and to account for their retirees. One needs only to gain access to the stables on 38th street, for example, to know that the vast majority of the industry cares about as little for these horses as most of us care for an old television.

Plus, these carriage just beneath us as New Yorkers, quite frankly. We live in one of the most congested cities in the world. Why are we making horses cart our tourists around like we're in Lancaster? It's totally out of place, it looks silly, the more intelligent riders look embarrassed to be there, and it's just not worth it. The MONEY is not worth it, Mrs. Willis---and you can harp on about "radicals" all you want, but that's the real motivation here. Not "humans versus animals". Money. Always money.

I think you and your fellow drivers will look chic and polished offering rides in a sleek horseless carriage. You'll get more fares, CPW won't smell, and your beloved animals will get to run and feast on sweet feed, as they should. Is this really such a radical compromise?
Jan. 22, 2012, 10 pm
Con Nguy from Queens Village says:
The carriage industry makes up the livelyhood of probably half the owned horses in this country. Considering that there are thousands sent to slaughter because no one wants them, and hundreds more are starving because people release them to the wild when they can no longer care for them. I rather they had a job, so long as like any job there are safety regulations in place that are being followed.
My father had horses too, and my best friend works for a carriage company. Horses don't live on air, part of the money they make goes into their upkeep. Considering a horse rescue just closed its door due to lack of funds, where is the magic wallet with all the money to care for these horses if they are no longer working.
As for "horseless carriages" if I wanted to ride in a car, I would ride in my own.
Jan. 23, 2012, 12:03 pm
Sky from Everyones says:
Ms Florel,
Just where is this PIE IN The Sky Retirement home for these privately owned carriage horses. Several rescues and retirement centers are closing around the country in just the past couple of months. The truely Starving and Neglected horses want to know. With recent NJ TB socall rescuer being unveiled. Where is this Beautiful Place?
Jan. 23, 2012, 6:57 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
1. Where is the proof (vet reports, etc) that the NYC carriage horses are abused?

2. How many NYC carriage drivers have been cited and/or convicted of cruelty to their carriage horses?

3. Where are the NYC carriage horses going to go if the industry is banned?

4. Who will pay for the care of the NYC carriage horses if the industry is banned?

5. Isn't a serious conflict of interest for the ASPCA to give NY-CLASS $250,000, a lobbying group headed by someone who can well afford to fund it themselves – from donations raised by flooding us with pictures of animals who have actually been abused or abandoned? How is that not misleading, let alone unethical?

6. Don't you find it just a little bit curious that a real estate developer is behind the push to ban the carriage horses, and, gee, isn't it interesting that their stables are prime NYC real estate?

In addition, since 1982 three horses THREE have died in traffic accidents, seven others have died while on duty. That's ten horses in about 30 years. I am in no way minimizing any horse's death, but that is a remarkable record. And, by the way, not a single pedestrian has been hurt. NOT ONE.

Ms. Forel, isn’t it true that you have stated that the NYC carriage horses are merely the first stop in your goal of eliminating ANY use of a horse? Meaning no riding, no jumping, no driving – nothing. Pasture ornaments or nothing.

For NY-CLASS this has absolutely NOTHING to do with horse welfare - it is all about money. Ironic, since that's the same thing they accuse the carriage driver's of - being only about the money.
Jan. 23, 2012, 7:39 pm
Leda from Universe says:
To everyone who is in favor of horse drawn carriages:

If it has a nervous system and a brain it has feelings.

The horses are being mistreated bottom line.

NY-Class and Ms. Forel are two different organizations.
Unfortunately some organizations jump on the cause to profit themselves, which is WRONG and eventually they get exposed, but in the end the main factor is to BAN horse drawn carriages period.

People like to quickly point out that horses helped build a city or that's why they are here for to serve and be used for transportation; Well the same was said for humans decades ago....and we fought for them and a lot of great people died for the cause. So what's the difference?

Horses dont belong in city streets. Inhumane. Just like we fought for freedom for humans decades ago.

We are all ONE at the end of the day, humans, animals and nature...
Jan. 24, 2012, 1:03 am
Elizabeth Forel from Manhattan says:
to McFarland - I will only answer this because you fill your rants with distortions and I just hope people see through you. You show me where I said this: "Ms. Forel, isn’t it true that you have stated that the NYC carriage horses are merely the first stop in your goal of eliminating ANY use of a horse? Meaning no riding, no jumping, no driving – nothing. Pasture ornaments or nothing."

Sorry dear - you will not find that anywhere. As a matter of fact, what I have said in the past is something like this: We are opposed to urban carriage horse businesses for tourism. That means NYC - and I also support the campaigns in Rome, Atlanta, Cozumel and anywhere else. This is where the horses are exploited and used up. We actually have supporters in the US and Europe who have small carriage horse businesses and work with their horse a few times a year. From everything I can see, they treat their horses with respect. I have assured them that while I, personally, might not like to use a horse in that way, I/We are not trying to get rid of all carriage horses. They are appalled with how the NYC carriage horses are treated. Take your blinders off McFarland. You try to twist my words but you can't succeed.

This is an inhumane and exploitative business. 1/3 of the NYC horses drop off the rolls each year - that is about 60-70 horses - you tell me - where do they go?! 350 NYC carriage horses in five years. Slaughter auctions mostly with the number on their left hoof sanded off so no one can identify them.

Speaker Christine Quinn, big supporter of the carriage industry shut down a press conference that i had scheduled for Sept. 20th because she assumed I would take about the "S" issue. Slaughter.

Go back to your CHF page and rant to each other. No one is listening.

Elizabeth Forel
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
www.banhdc.org
Jan. 24, 2012, 7:05 am
Kathy from Atlanta says:
Here in Atlanta, horse drawn carriages on the streets are certainly an issue of animal cruelty. The horses work very long hours, up to seventeen straight hours allowable, with no gaurantee of water and never any hay or feed while they stand strapped to a carriage. In the summer, when the humidity is stiffling, the horses can still be seen pounding the asphalt when temperatures are 95 degrees. When their work day is through, they do not return home to green pasture and the comfort of a barn. They are kept in the very worst part of the city directly under a busy highway overpass in a small barren paddock with no grass or trees. Advocates of horse drawn carriages like to refer to anyone who opposes this sort of mistreatment of animals as "radical animal rights extremists". But in fact, the vast majority of people in this day oppose the use of horse drawn carriages on city streets recognizing that it is an unnecessary, inappropriate, unsafe, and unhealthy environment for a horse. As with many things, the only advocates for the industry are those who stand to profit in some way off of the sweat of the horses.
Jan. 24, 2012, 9:28 am
Kathy from Atlanta says:
Also, I just want to add for the carriage horse industry advocates who have serious concern about what will happen to the horses if the industry here in Atlanta were shut down...rest easy, we have horse rescues standing by willing to take in any and all of the horses.
Jan. 24, 2012, 9:35 am
Sarah May from Rome, Italy says:
It is the same all over the world. Horses abused for the sake of greed. When will this madness end? When tourists realize that they are not taking a romatic ride through a park but a torture device for the horses. Please, do not take horse drawn carriages. It is cruel to the horses. Here in Rome it is just as bad as anywhere.
Jan. 24, 2012, 9:36 am
LynnWoodFarms from MiddleEarth says:
Not including farrier, veterinary , emergency , and husbandry items like blankets , grooming supplies , etc . It cost anywhere from 200-400 dollars a month just to feed the average sized equine. Multiply that times 12 months and your talking 2400-4800 in basic care a year . Tack on all the above mentioned items , and you are looking upwards of 5k a year in care. Now multiply that times how many 200ish NYC carriage horses and in upkeep alone you are suggesting/hoping that rescues / other people should come up with the close to 1 million dollars a year to care for horses that currently have owners willing to pay and care for them ?

For those of you who constantly nag about Horses being exploited for greed. Have you ever stopped to contemplate just who and how their futures will be provided for ? Regurgitating that their are "rescues" ready and willing to take them in... you must also rationalize that taking one already owned and provided for and filling a rescue spot had the direct affect on aother horse in a much worse situation.

Ms.Forel I read above that you are claiming that 1/3 of the horses are being sent to slaughter each year. Do you have documented proof or is that just hearsay ? I would assume that purchasing , training , inspecting and licencing new horses with such frequent turn over would make terrible financial sense?

I know I am sure that you are going to attempt some sort of they are "abused" spin and swag but lets be perfectly brassy ..."if" that were the case considering the ASPCA is the governing body charged with inspecting and citing the horses and they themselves have openly admitted to wanting to ban the industry . Do you not feel they have been siting in a perfectly poised position to do so IF there were legitimate abuses going on? I'll wager that since they are unable to do so .. and they are clearly in conflict being asked to govern something that they wish to abolish ...that there really is no abuse. You may not like horses in the city and some of you might not like the idea of working animals .. but tossing the abused /slavery hat in the ring places you walking a fine line between reality and delusion.

Just because you don't like don't understand and or refuse to become acquainted with something does not make it abusive. If the city is not safe for the horses it is by no means safe for any other living creature.
Jan. 24, 2012, 11:01 am
Donny Moss from Manhattan says:
The NYC carriage horses have no place to turn out. They're confined between the shafts of their carriage or on the second or third floor of buildings in Hell's Kitchen. They spook and flee into traffic; they collapse or trip and all in the streets; they ingest car exhaust all day long; they work on hard pavement, surrounding by fast-moving cars. No amount of regulation or enforcement can make the operation of horse-drawn carriages humane or safe in the streets of midtown Manhattan (that's not to suggest that laws are being enforced; they are not).
Jan. 24, 2012, 11:22 am
MaryNYC from Manhattan says:
@"Mrs" Hamilton B. Willis, Labeling your opponents as "radical" and "extremists" does nothing to advance your cause. It just looks silly and certainly irrelevant. As by now you may have seen, the goal is NOT the banning of "ALL horse-drawn carriages EVERYWHERE."

With all due respect, your vantage point in Louisiana does not quality you as an expert on the very real problems with the industry in New York City--just as I am not qualified to comment on your practices in Louisiana, because I know nothing about them or the environment in which the industry operates.

"Horses built the city" arguments are irrelevant and I wonder why you and others keep bringing them up. Child labor also was the norm in that era, along with chamber pots, yellow fever, slavery, dogs being drowned in the East River as a means of controlling the population, etc.

Blue Star may be the star of the industry's PR campaign but last time I checked, it had a total of ONE former NYC carriage horse. No one is believing it when industry claims that Blue Star takes all of these horses after they are used up by the industry. "StopLiesSeeTruth" is a YouTube channel by Frank Rodden, a fixture in this ridiculous industry. Viewers might be more interested to see Rodden's rants against activists, while passengers are in the carriage. Recently he was videotaped standing up in the carriage (foolish from a safety standpoint), turned sideways to yell at activists, and making an obscene hand gesture--all in front of passengers.

The cliches about how well the horses are cared for are just that--cliches. New Yorkers are seeing through the lies. As it has been stated previously, all surveys to date have shown that at least 75% of New Yorkers want to see this industry end.

If you care to take a look at the city's audit of industry in 2007, you will see that then-Comptroller William Thompson derided the city agencies for "dropping the ball" with regard to oversight. The problems were numerous and serious. You can easily find a recap on the New York Times website. Plus, there is a huge conflict of interest at the Department of Health, what with Linda Gibbs being married to a lawyer whose firm is deeply entrenched with the carriage industry. At a public hearing in 2009, the Department of Consumer Affairs representative did not even KNOW the legally allowable fare; thus, he was not able to recognize illegal overcharging or the illegal collection of sales tax. (See "PitytheHorses" channel on YouTube and you will find the testimony of Andrew Eiler, who in 2009 was with the Department of Consumer Affairs).

The temperature regulations are widely ignored and enforcement is virtually nonexistent. Remember, we LIVE here. We see it.

We care about the wellbeing and comfort of all beings. the fact that the United States is filled with a SHAMEFUL amount of poverty and hunger does indeed speak volumes about the priorities of a greedy nation.

Exploiting animals for greed is not the answer. It is that simple.
Jan. 24, 2012, 11:36 am
MaryNYC from Manhattan says:
@LynnWood ... Ms. Forel has never said that 1/3 of the horses go to slaughter. What IS known is that 60 to 70 horses disappear from the city's rolls each year. This mystery suits industry just fine; current law requires virtually nothing in the way of accountability when a sale occurs outside of NYC.
Jan. 24, 2012, 11:40 am
LynnWood Farms from MiddleEarth says:
Mr Moss I don't think the car exhaust is a valid concern ..for it to be so you'd have to also agree that it was unsafe then for again every other living being in NYC. Am I wrong in thinking that the Pedi Cab drivers , pedestrians , etc are also not exposed to the same elements. Further more the very drivers of said carriages.

It is my understanding that the buildings housing the horses are not converted but were built as stables converted and then reclaimed back to their former purpose. I'm not sure how 2nd and 3rd story is relevant or equates abuse? What about the historic Claremont Riding Academy I do believe the horses were stabled on upper floors , and ridden in the city not turned out ? Were they too patrons of horse abuse ? It was not a change in times that closed Claremont but the increased cost to maintain and renovate and deliver the hefty real estate taxes. So again are you saying that those that patroned Claremont are horse abusers ?
Jan. 24, 2012, 11:52 am
LynnWood Farms from MiddleEarth says:
@MaryNYC "
This is an inhumane and exploitative business. 1/3 of the NYC horses drop off the rolls each year - that is about 60-70 horses - you tell me - where do they go?! 350 NYC carriage horses in five years. Slaughter auctions mostly with the number on their left hoof sanded off so no one can identify them. "

I do believe if you re read the above post .. while thinly veiled Ms Forel does attempt to imply that those horses end up at Slaughter auctions. Again if their is proof of the numbers in which she has insinuated /claimed please provide them and clear this up.

Further more I do believe that the horses are private property not wards of NYC. Why would/should they have to report to anyone where ,when and why the horses were sold to ? Are you implying that said information is indebted to you in some way ? How absurd to even ponder that they should be required to report the sale of their private property to the likes of anyone.

Mary I think the delineation between a job and being exploited is pretty clear. I understand that their are those out there that believe no animal should work...working does not = being exploited.

I still do not see a clear logical path to how anyone rationalizes taking cared for animals who are regulated and monitored and forcing them to become the wards of already over populated often under staffed and funded rescues makes any sense at all.
Jan. 24, 2012, 12:08 pm
MaryNYC from Manhattan says:
Well LynnWood, since you brought it up. Yes, some end up at auction. The horse now called "Bobby II Freedom" is a good example. Technically, his was a circuitous route. He was one place, he was "vacationing," he was here, he was there, and yes--he wound up in trouble and was hours away from a one-way trip to a slaughterhouse. King is another one whose time was running out after his "owners" at West Side Livery decided to send him to Pennsylvania after his license expired in 2010. These were the same people who had gotten ride of "Bobby II" (formerly known as Billy). Guess what? the horse who collapsed on Dec. 4 2011 and the one who spooked and crashed his carriage on Oct 28, 2011 are not around. Lilly Rose O'Reilly was rescued from New Holland--and in very bad shape.

Do you wonder why industry has pushed for microchipping, which would do away with hoof numbers while simultaneously peeling away another layer of accountability? At auction, are the horses going to be examined with a wand to look for a chip?

The cash-only NYC carriage industry is exploitive and driven by greed. Why pay for humane euthanasia when you can squeeze a last few dollars out of the horse?

Which is it--do the owners and drivers "love" their horses, as they say, or do they consider them tools?

New York City carriage horses are not well cared for animals. Monitoring is virtually nonexistent. The stables are a disgrace. And as the letter writer clearly states, to put nervous prey animals into busy traffic is an accident waiting to happen. Have you ever seen photos of the Spotty spooking accident site (January 2, 2006)? Humans were critically injured--including the carriage driver and 2 men inside a car--and the horse killed. These kinds of accidents are 100% unnecessary. Most people can see how wrong it is to put horses onto the street of New York City. It is that simple.
Jan. 24, 2012, 12:59 pm
Tess from NYC says:
Mrs Willis: The days when the colonists settled New York are very long gone. Back then, there were no cars, buses, taxis and trucks producing carbon monoxide fumes in very heavy city traffic. When the colonists settled, horses were the means of transportation. That time cannot be seriously compared with the 21st Century. Now the horses are used as a tourist attraction only, for profit at the expense of the horses' miserable lives.

Back in colonial times, horses lived in real, ground level stables. Today, the "stables" where the New York City carriage horses are kept are dilapidated buildings on the West Side. The horses are walked up steep ramps to tiny stalls on the upper floors. The buildings are fire traps. Photos of the inside of a stable showed a large amount of paper and other debris and clutter. The spiral ramp with a window on top would act as a bellows effect, making the fire spread faster. if a fire were to break out in one of these buildings. it would be impossible to walk frightened, bolting horses down the steep ramps to the street. The stable workers would have all that they could do to get out safely themselves.

Once upon a time it made sense to have horses working in New York City, now it makes no sense.
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:09 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
You still haven't answered my questions:

1. Where is the proof (vet reports, etc) that the NYC carriage horses are abused?

2. How many NYC carriage drivers have been cited and/or convicted of cruelty to their carriage horses?

3. Where are the NYC carriage horses going to go if the industry is banned?

4. Who will pay for the care of the NYC carriage horses if the industry is banned?

5. Isn't a serious conflict of interest for the ASPCA to give NY-CLASS $250,000, a lobbying group headed by someone who can well afford to fund it themselves – from donations raised by flooding us with pictures of animals who have actually been abused or abandoned? How is that not misleading, let alone unethical?

6. Don't you find it just a little bit curious that a real estate developer is behind the push to ban the carriage horses, and, gee, isn't it interesting that their stables are prime NYC real estate?
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:15 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
MaryNYC from Manhattan says:
@LynnWood ... current law requires virtually nothing in the way of accountability when a sale occurs outside of NYC.

And the proposed law would do nothing to change this, no matter what its backers would like you to believe. Good luck getting any court outside of NYC to enforce its "rules".
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:18 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
@MaryNYC Do you wonder why industry has pushed for microchipping, which would do away with hoof numbers while simultaneously peeling away another layer of accountability? At auction, are the horses going to be examined with a wand to look for a chip?

Micro-chipping is permanent and it is far easier to track an animal (any animal) that is chipped. And, yes, actually, auction houses are supposed to look for chips. Is it fail safe? No, but neither are hoof numbers, which are easy enough to remove (ie, not permanent).
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:21 pm
LynnWood Farms from MiddleEarth says:
@ MaryNYC color me confused. First E.Forel said 60/70 then you said none ..now you are giving the names of 2 that ended up there indirectly but not actually sent there by their owners ? So you would like to whole the NYC industry accountable for what others do with their former horses ? I believe the local press recently of the young women taking in former race horses under the guise of re-homing and rescuing and then shipping them off to slaughter should be proof enough that even with the best intentions sometimes horses end up in unsavory circumstances.

Am I reading correctly that you are also implying that the horse who tripped and fell in Dec and the one from Oct are mysteriously not around? I am assuming you have proof of this otherwise it seems a bit area-52ish

Am I also reading that the growing universal method of animal tracking and identification "the micro chip". In the hands of the carriage drives now becomes nefarious in some way? Is it not how millions of dogs and cats are identified? Is it also not the very same system that to obtain an international passport for FEI travel the horse MUST be micro chipped ? The growing trend of Micro chipping horses as a better means of permanent identification is nothing new and far more reliable then brands tattoos and hoof searing.

I do understand horses can spook. Calling them nervous prey animals at this point in domestication would be like calling a toy poodle a predator. Yes they can spook . However much of that is tempered by training and acclimation. What is the NYC Carriage Industry's safety record ? How many crashes a year vs trips to and from and trips with fares ? There were 134 pedestrian fatalities involving vehicles in 2011 and 237 traffic fatalities . How does the Carriage Industry compare ?

Mary why must it be "which" is it why is it not in the realm of possibilities that the horses are loved by their owners /drivers and work partners ?
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:25 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
I knew I could find it…

From the comments section of this article:
http://bayside.patch.com/articles/patch-asks-should-nyc-ban-horse-carriages?

Elizabeth Forel
9:56 am on Saturday, December 17, 2011

NYC will be the domino for the beginning of the end of horse abusive industries all over the world.

and this:

Elizabeth Forel
10:00 am on Saturday, December 17, 2011

The hand writing is on the wall. When this industry goes down, it may well be because of the Hudson Yards/Hells Kitchen real estate development project that will wipe out two stables. And then move uptown to take the others. Manhattan real estate is very valuable and many developers have their eyes on the redevelopment of the far west side. You can rant at NY Class and the ASPCA all you want – but you can’t stop this kind of progress.

So, there you have it folks - it is NOT about the "poor horsies" - it is about a real estate deal. Plain and simple... And how VERY interesting that Ms. Forel works for the NYC Housing Authority...
Jan. 24, 2012, 3:48 pm
MaryNYC from Manhattan says:
LynnWood (aka "confused"), no I will not go down the list of names and hoof numbers. You know what I want you to know, which is that 60 to 70 horses vanish without a trace each year, and that is a conservative estimate--given the snail's pace with which FOIL requests are processed. yes, the city must comply with these request. No., the agencies may or may not do a good job with them or complete them in a timely manner.

We know all too well about america's dirty little secret--and about the workings of kill buyers. Yes, we know that is a predatory and slimy and deceitful business of which most Americans still are unaware. Yes, thoroughbreds and racing champions find themselves on a one-way trip to slaughterhouses. We also know that *most* Americans don't necessarily intend for their horses to end up in the trailers of a kill buyer. Why then, do you think that broken-down or skittish or lame carriage horses are immune? They are not.

I have said more than enough about specific horses. Yes, you and I both know that horse meat is a BIG business for the United State, albeit a secret one. Sixty-million pounds of meat from American horses in 2009. That's a lot. Do you know where YOUR horses are?

Broken-down carriage horses are not lost dogs. Your support of the "high tech" gadgetry that is microchipping is laughable. So predictable. Yes, indeed. the way of the future. Guess what. All the rationale for reintroducing horse slaughter to the US has the same kind of childish thinking behind it. "We can do a better job of it here," "there is a perfect storm of neglected horses," "horses are starving," etc. When horse slaughter was done in the United States (and the profits went to overseas corporations), there was still a "perfect storm" of starving and abandoned and neglected horses. but yes, I can understand why an exploiter in NYC would be lobbying for microchipping. Think how seamlessly the horse could be dumped and that chip mysteriously, having migrated, goes undetected. Oops.

Your comment about horses spooking is nothing less than ignorant and does not deserve commentary. Training and acclimation has little to do with it when the time is right for the horse to spook. One accident is one too many, because this industry is completely irrelevant, exploitive and inherently inhumane to horses and dangerous to humans. I can tell you with 100% certainty that a human will be killed, and at that point maybe the mayor and the speaker of the council will wake up to the fact that horses have no place here. What would you say about the horse who spooked on Oct. 28? Did you read the very detailed accounts of eyewitnesses who saw the terrified horse? I guess ... let's call him "babyface" ... the horse just wasn't well-tempered or acclimated. Which brings us to another point--if those in industry are the "experts" they purport to be, can't they make a reasonable determination about a horse's temperament and suitability to work in traffic, in one of the most congested cities on the planet?

It must be nice living in MiddleEarth, but horses who are housed inside West Side Livery are not having a very good time.
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:03 pm
Hell'sKitchen from Manhattan says:
L McFarland-Taylor...
And what is your point, again?

The coalition's efforts are directed specifically at the industry that operates in New York City, and this has been explained in detail.

Yes, development on the west side of Manhattan is rampant. What is the question? As she clearly stated, it is not about land-grab allegations lobbed at NY-CLASS or the ASPCA. development and overdevelopment is rampant,.

shall I send a photo of the shiny new civilization that is being built on the site that housed Shamrock Stables until about 18 months ago?

By the way, the city does not derive a single penny of direct revenue from the NYC carriage industry. It is a cash business in which overcharging is rampant.
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:14 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
@Hell'sKitchen

"As she clearly stated, it is not about land-grab allegations lobbed at NY-CLASS or the ASPCA. "

Um, no, that's NOT what she said, but whatever. It's there for all to see.

I know! How about YOU answer my questions. I'll even take out the ones about the unethical alliance between NY-CLASS and the ASPCA, and the questions about the obvious land grab:

1. Where is the proof (vet reports, etc) that the NYC carriage horses are abused?

2. How many NYC carriage drivers have been cited and/or convicted of cruelty to their carriage horses?

3. Where are the NYC carriage horses going to go if the industry is banned?

4. Who will pay for the care of the NYC carriage horses if the industry is banned?
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:43 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
@Hell'sKitchen

"By the way, the city does not derive a single penny of direct revenue from the NYC carriage industry."

You really need to take an economics 101 class if you believe that.
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:46 pm
Mirella from Montréal says:
There is an ongoing campaign to ban the horse-drawn carriages in Montréal. Many fail to see that this industry is inhumane for the animals and unsafe for humans. Please sign and share the petition
http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-nbc-today-show-to-broadcast-an-educational-episode-about-the-calches-in-montral

Thank you,
Mirella
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:55 pm
Mirella from Montréal says:
For more information visit our FB page
https://www.facebook.com/anticalechedefensecoalition?sk=wall
and our blog
http://anti-calechedefensecoalition.blogspot.com/

Thank you,
Mirella
Jan. 24, 2012, 4:57 pm
LynnWood Farms from MiddleEarth says:
@MaryNYC .. you seem flustered ? Is there a reason that you cannot answer some simple questions without resorting to hostility and sophmoric behavior ?

If you claim 60-70 horses a year but in the last 6 years can only name 4 then NO you have not provided an adequate burden of proof. What you have provided is a few circumstantial cases. I never said that that untimely end was something they were immune to .. you are the one claiming it is the destination most common for them . Yet can only provide 4 names and none of those were sold to slaughter. Yes they were at auctions that killer buyers can frequent. MOST importantly noted even by you that NONE of them were sent their directly by their owners. Yet you and E.Forel imply it is directly the industry's fault and intent that they came into those circumstances.

Why suddenly is are the whereabouts of my personal horses past and present suddenly an issue. Do I know where most are yes .. is their the potential for any animals sold into another private hands eventually to end up in a bad circumstance.

Mary again you seem verkelmmpt how does the very reliable form of identification Micro Chipping in your mind turn into a sermon about horse slaughter. What a window into a very contrived mind.

Yes I do support Micro Chipping as a permanent source of Equine identification. Again like I said you can't get a past port for international travel or competition currently WITHOUT one. So clearly the large international organizations supporting equine sports and governing international travel must be wrong.... according to you ..what credentials do you have again ?? Are you aware that many if not most of the large equine organizations are poised to convert to Micro Chipping as their favored form of identification? Why do you think that is ? It is truly laughable that you called them "high tech gadgetry"..they have been successfully used in large and small animal identification and recovery available to the public for the last 20 plus years hardly something new.

Now Mary did you really just attempt to use a person with NO horse experience's opinion of what the horse on Oct. 28ths behavior and mental constitution was ? What a farce if you truly believe that the average person on the street can provide an accurate picture into anything more then "I saw a horse run by and it looked scared " You are indeed delusional. Again you are harping on an industry with an excellent safety record even when provided with FACTS of 137 pedestrian deaths in NYC 2011. Clearly walking in NYC is dangerous and statistics prove that death can does occur as a result of it... then by your logic any and all WALKING in NYC should be banned.
Jan. 24, 2012, 5 pm
Elizabeth Forel from Manhattan says:
L McFarland-Taylor... - what exactly are you trying to say? I need to know so i can provide my lawyer with the whole picture. You are apparently accusing me of something -- in print yet. That is libel.

What you say here: It is not only a not true but it is actionable. You have no idea what I do in my employment. Because you are all stalkers, you can research where I live and work and how much i get paid - but what I do is not public information.

"So, there you have it folks - it is NOT about the "poor horsies" - it is about a real estate deal. Plain and simple... And how VERY interesting that Ms. Forel works for the NYC Housing Authority..."

You people are desperate, vicious and despicable and you make your own truths.

Oh BTW - thanks so much for being a fan and keeping track of everything I say. I am flattered.
Jan. 24, 2012, 7:18 pm
Katie from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn says:
Where are the legal citations of abuse? Is there any medical evidence? NO and NO. If there is a problem, why can't the ASPCA, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, or Mayor Bloomberg find it? Because there is no problem! Radical animal rights activists like Elizabeth Forel (who has never set foot in a NYC carriage barn) and MaryNYC (of a fringe group called Win Animal Rights) have no case, and no facts, they only have their opinions. "Win Animal Rights is a grassroots collective of relentless hard core activists who fight for animal liberation and support direct action." These are the cuckoos that care more about a lab rat than a human being.
Jan. 24, 2012, 7:30 pm
Lynnwood from MiddleEarth says:
E.Forel any chance you can answer any of the above questions ?
Jan. 24, 2012, 7:40 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
@E Forel:

L McFarland-Taylor... - what exactly are you trying to say? I need to know so i can provide my lawyer with the whole picture. You are apparently accusing me of something -- in print yet. That is libel.

What you say here: It is not only a not true but it is actionable. You have no idea what I do in my employment. Because you are all stalkers, you can research where I live and work and how much i get paid - but what I do is not public information.

Ms. Forel: You crack me up! I have screen shots of the web page from which I quoted you. You will find your words, verbatim, here: http://bayside.patch.com/articles/patch-asks-should-nyc-ban-horse-carriages?

What you do is indeed public information. Google is your friend. Or enemy as the case may be...
Jan. 24, 2012, 9:27 pm
LMcFarland-Taylor from Illinois says:
@E Forel
Oh BTW - thanks so much for being a fan and keeping track of everything I say. I am flattered.

Nope, not a fan. Just making sure you can't wiggle out from under what you've actually said as you so often try to do...

BTW - I'm still waiting for answers to these four simple questions:

1. Where is the proof (vet reports, etc) that the NYC carriage horses are abused?

2. How many NYC carriage drivers have been cited and/or convicted of cruelty to their carriage horses?

3. Where are the NYC carriage horses going to go if the industry is banned?

4. Who will pay for the care of the NYC carriage horses if the industry is banned?
Jan. 24, 2012, 9:42 pm
MaryNYC from Manhatttan says:
@Laura
Um. No the eyewitness accounts about the horse who spooked on Oct 28 were not about the horse looking "scared," as you so eloquently put it but rather about the charging headlong straight into traffic on Central Park South and coming within inches of taxicabs. Cutting across speeding traffic to enter the park.

That is what horses do when they spook.
Jan. 25, 2012, 1:57 am
MaryNYC from Manhatttan says:
@Katie
You flatter me but I am a different Mary. Sorry that you feel so threatened by people who show compassion to all living beings and not to a select few only.
Jan. 25, 2012, 2:02 am
Candace Ware from wherever the horses are says:
Hmmmm. Yet again, the conversation on this issue is heavily laden with the usual selection of emotionally overwrought commenters who appear to have absolutely no practical real-world experience with horses. Sadly, these folks are not at all reticent about speaking out, despite their unfamiliarity with equine nature and the finer points of working horses. Those who have spent years training and working horses can only shake their heads at such hubris.

Perhaps the most egregious and outrageous statement made on this issue is that the horse and carriage people are only in it for the money. The fact that the anti-carriage people can even say that reveals how truly out of touch with reality they are. This saddens me, deeply; but not for myself, not for the carriage horses and their owners, not for the drivers. It makes me sad for those who can possibly believe such a claim. What a dark, cynical world they live in.

The motivation of the horse and carriage people is far, far from being only -- or even primarily -- about the money. Even if it were, there is absolutely nothing shameful about working hard to provide a desired service to the public, and to earn enough doing it to support the business and a family. Nothing wrong with that at all.

That said, there are also 1,000 easier, more comfortable ways to do so. The carriage people do what they do because they love working with the horses and they love giving the people who ride with them an experience to remember. Anyone who was only in it for the money would not last long.

As Carriage Horse Association of NYC President Stephen Malone said yesterday on the radio program the Stable Scoop (http://stablescoop.horseradionetwork.com/):
"This isn't what we DO; it's who we ARE."

Another claim often made by the antis is that safety is an issue. Yet the NYC carriage horse business has a safety record that would be the envy of nearly any other occupation out there. It's a ridiculously safe activity, for all involved. In contrast, four people have died in the NYC subways in what, the last week? And how many die each year on bicycles in the city? I have yet to see a call for a ban on bikes and subways.

As much as the pro-ban contingent might like to skew the truth differently, the indisputable fact is that in NYC, only three carriage horses have died *due to traffic accidents* in the last 30 years. A handful of other carriage horses have died while at work, but not due to traffic, and not due to the work itself.

Another peg they seem to want to hang their anti hats on is the potential for "spooking". Again, the *facts* regarding accidents and incidents in NYC and other cities that have horse-drawn carriages do not support their notion that this is a big issue for the carriage horse trade. That is the reality, and I'm sorry so many appear to have been duped into believing otherwise.

As a lifelong horsewoman, I have literally handled hundreds of "spook" incidents without any negative outcome at all. The horse breeds with which I spent the most time were much "hotter" breeds than the draft horses and draft crosses that comprise the NYC carriage horses, yet even so the spooks that occurred were pretty harmless, and safely and easily handled. The NYC draft horses are steady, mellow animals who are accustomed to the city. If new horses don't adapt well to city life, they do not continue as NYC carriage horses.

(continued in next comment)
Jan. 26, 2012, 5:13 pm
Candace Ware from wherever the horses are says:
(continued from above)

And the final anti carriage horse "justification" I'll address here -- the anti folks are forever harping on the physical and mental health of the horses. In 2009, John Lowe, DVM, of the renowned Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, was brought up from Ithaca, NY, to examine the NYC carriage horses. This is a link to his report: www.equiculture.org/Data/Sites/1/carriages/DrLoweJoggingReport.pdf

More than 98% of the 130 carriage horses were sound and serviceable (one had a known issue that was being treated, and one was removed from service). Also -- regarding their lungs, about which the anti crowd is perennially concerned -- the vet remarked with pleased surprise that, in his entire visit to all the stables, he did not hear ONE SINGLE HORSE cough. Not once, in more than 10 hours. Dr. Lowe remarks in his report how unusual this is in ANY stabled horses, anywhere.

Dr. Lowe had the horses hand-trotted for him, and he also rode along with some of them as they worked. Under the category of temperament, he rated EVERY SINGLE HORSE -- all 130 -- as "quiet, bright and alert". None were noted to be either depressed or nervous. In his written remarks he said, and I quote: "I was impressed with their tractability and calmness, whether doing a strange thing for them, like being jogged, or waiting in traffic for the light at the intersection to change." It's all in the report, and anyone who wishes to can see it for themselves.

A lot of valuable information and debunking of the mythology marketed by the various anti groups can be found at this Blue Star Equiculture page: www.equiculture.org/nyc-position-statement.aspx

Also, in a nice pdf format: www.equiculture.org/Data/Sites/1/carriages/CARRIAGEHORSEMYTHS.pdf

I truly cannot comprehend from whence the anti-carriage people summon the nerve to even propose putting 68 small business people out of their iconic, much-loved, environmentaly friendly, SAFE and markedly successful vocation. Especially in exchange for some ridiculous faux-antique jalopy. As someone else said, and quite well -- if I wanted to take a ride in a car, I would get in my own!

It would be ridiculous in the extreme for anyone to assume that the carriage horse folks, and the people like me who support their right to exist, in the same environment where they HAVE existed, quite nicely, for 100 years, are going to go all shrinking-violet and not do everything in our power to protect them from a frivolous, completely unwarranted attack such as the one they are currently facing. Get used to us fighting back, and hard. Because that isn't going to change -- until it's over and we have won.
Jan. 26, 2012, 5:14 pm
Candace Ware from wherever the horses are says:
And the final anti carriage horse "justification" I'll address here -- the anti folks are forever harping on the physical and mental health of the horses. In 2009, John Lowe, DVM, of the renowned Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, was brought up from Ithaca, NY, to examine the NYC carriage horses. This is a link to his report: www.equiculture.org/Data/Sites/1/carriages/DrLoweJoggingReport.pdf

More than 98% of the 130 carriage horses were sound and serviceable (one had a known issue that was being treated, and one was removed from service). Also -- regarding their lungs, about which the anti crowd is perennially concerned -- the vet remarked with pleased surprise that, in his entire visit to all the stables, he did not hear ONE SINGLE HORSE cough. Not once, in more than 10 hours. Dr. Lowe remarks in his report how unusual this is in ANY stabled horses, anywhere.

Dr. Lowe had the horses hand-trotted for him, and he also rode along with some of them as they worked. Under the category of temperament, he rated EVERY SINGLE HORSE -- all 130 -- as "quiet, bright and alert". None were noted to be either depressed or nervous. In his written remarks he said, and I quote: "I was impressed with their tractability and calmness, whether doing a strange thing for them, like being jogged, or waiting in traffic for the light at the intersection to change." It's all in the report, and anyone who wishes to can see it for themselves.

A lot of valuable information and debunking of the mythology marketed by the various anti groups can be found at this Blue Star Equiculture page: www.equiculture.org/nyc-position-statement.aspx

Also, in a nice pdf format: www.equiculture.org/Data/Sites/1/carriages/CARRIAGEHORSEMYTHS.pdf

I truly cannot comprehend from whence the anti-carriage people summon the nerve to even propose putting 68 small business people out of their iconic, much-loved, environmentaly friendly, SAFE and markedly successful vocation. Especially in exchange for some ridiculous faux-antique jalopy. As someone else said, and quite well -- if I wanted to take a ride in a car, I would get in my own!

It would be ridiculous in the extreme for anyone to assume that the carriage horse folks, and the people like me who support their right to exist, in the same environment where they HAVE existed, quite nicely, for 100 years, are going to go all shrinking-violet and not do everything in our power to protect them from a frivolous, completely unwarranted attack such as the one they are currently facing. Get used to us fighting back, and hard. Because that isn't going to change -- until it's over and we have won.
Jan. 26, 2012, 5:15 pm
Candace Ware from wherever the horses are says:
My apologies for the duplicate posting of my second comment.
Jan. 26, 2012, 5:17 pm
Katie from Windsor Terrace says:
@MaryNYC: You believe "Sorry that you feel so threatened by people who show compassion to all living beings and not to a select few only." -- No, in fact I do not feel 'threatened' in the least bit. Frustrated, yes, that radical animal rights activists spend so much time pitter pattering around 220 carriage horses that have homes, jobs & people who love them, and the strictest of welfare regulations, government oversight, etc. The 220 NYC carriage horses are treasured by their owners and the public at large -- unlike the tens of *thousands* of horses that go unknown and unwanted every year. http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/unwanted_horses_faq.asp
People who take care of horses every day understand the realities of horsekeeping and horsemanship. In my encounters with the NYC anti-carriage horse activists, it is the least informed people that have the most out of touch opinions. They can't even fact-check horse anatomy on google. And that's a real shame.
If you truly care about horses, pick up a real cause that will help the 9 million horses in the U.S.: donate your time at a horse rescue, attend shows and events, pay board for a horse whose owner has fallen upon hard times, etc. If you could focus your energy on horses truly in need, rather than jump on a misguided bandwagon, then that would show genuine compassion.
Jan. 26, 2012, 6:58 pm

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