USA: New York Horse Drawn Carriage Update.

USA1

new york 1 feb

HORSE SENSE:  CarriageGate:  So-called “compromise” bill is shelved.

2/7/16

We need a total ban not a “compromise” that will doom the horses to a life of misery.

Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages   www.banhdc.org
Horses Without Carriages International     www.horseswithoutcarriages.org

our campaign is dedicated to banning the inhumane, unsafe, anachronistic and hack line horse-drawn carriage trade  in NYC

 CARRIAGE GATE:  So called “compromise” bill 573-B shelved. 

 By this time, many of you have heard the news: 

On Thursday morning, we learned that Bill #573-B was pulled from the agenda a day before the scheduled vote by the City Council.   It was a terrible bill. 

EQUINE EXPERTS OPPOSE BILL:  Along with many equine experts and anti-horse slaughter experts, we were vehemently opposed to this bill.  It was not good for the horses.  We believe Mayor deBlasio should have been held to his campaign promise to shut down the inhumane and unsafe carriage trade.

Check out our two past newsletters below  to read their statements.  Is our society really so jaded that we value the opinion of someone like Pink, Pamela Anderson or Kathy Najimi regarding this bill – over equine experts who really know horses and the issue?

https://www.robly.com/archive?id=09e4ccc4ecb4e2c5aa82bdbac90e5f59
https://www.robly.com/archive?id=aa60c69b031589a3752101857502034b

This misguided, substandard  and badly researched alternative bill hurt the horses  and alienated just about everyone other than those who expected political paybacks.  Allowing this bill to pass would only have legitimized an abusive business.  The prospects of a ban would be finished. 

 IS THIS THE ONLY WAY  – DECEPTION?  NY Class, backed by PETA, HSUS, ASPCA, LCA and ALDF, shamelessly sent out this announcement claiming that the bill would do the following :

Reducing the number of carriage horses by nearly half.


Requiring that the remaining horses live and work in Central Park – not on dangerous city streets where they are risk being spooked or struck by passing cars.


Nearly doubling the minimum size of their stalls to 100 square feet


Requiring daily turnout and time to roam, an essential component of their mental and physical well-being, and
Providing sanctuary to the retired horses and preventing them from being sold for slaughter.

 

NOT TRUE:  The only problem was that some of their claims were not true or manipulated  to sound desirable.  The most glaring false statement was that the bill would require daily turnout. This was simply not true!   The bill did not call for turnout to pasture because none was planned.  A quick search of its text verified this.  It is very telling that  NYClass, joined by these other organizations,  would not tell the truth about the bill and deceiving the public was the only way to get support for a bill that would have continued equine suffering.  The other organizations followed suit even after I  called it to the attention of someone at HSUS and asked her why they were supporting a lie – and allowing their name to be used in this fashion.  I did not get a reply. 

OUR RESPONSE: 

 – the 100 square foot stalls  are still too small  and would (considering the size of the stable) probably be on the upper floors – once again reached by steep ramps.  Experts  recommend 196 sq. ft for draft horses who weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds.
– There cannot be a guarantee that these  privately owned horses would go to sanctuaries since the owner could sell to anyone, including another carriage business.

 – There was a glaring loophole in the “slaughter” section of the bill that would have allowed the horses to go to kill auctions.  Other than one slaughter house in NJ that is allowed to operate because it supplies horse meat to zoos, there are no slaughter facilities in the US.  They are located in Canada and Mexico.  The appropriate wording would address “auctions” – but our pleas landed on deaf ears.  

 – Oddly, the bill reduced the horses by half but did not reduce medallions/carriages so the horses would have been overworked. 

– Lastly, confining the carriage horses to Central Park would not have miraculously prevented accidents as claimed.  The southern end of Central Park is very congested with masses of people, baby carriages, bikers, skaters and skateboarders.   It is the nature of a horse, a nervous prey animal,  to spook and bolt unexpectedly at the slightest provocation.  The picture above shows a spooking accident that happened in the park in 2011.  Luckily it was photographed. 

 new york 1

CENTRAL PARK NOT SAFE:  It  is naive at best to suggest that horses are “safe” in the park. Enforcement of regulations would be even more difficult: out of sight, out of mind.  Serious accidents have happened inside of Central Park, where carriage horses have spooked because of noises and fireworks.

PEDICAB DRIVERS OFFERED UP AS A SACRIFICE:  The bill also targeted pedicab drivers, not allowing them to work below 85th St. where the tourists are.  This would have put them out of business.  Pedicab drivers number more than 1,000 while carriage drivers number fewer than 300.  This gross inequity came to the attention of the Transit Workers Union, which began to organize the pedicab drivers. 

UNION VS UNION – TIME TO PULL THE BILL:  The carriage drivers decided that they did not like what the bill offered them and voted against it, parting with the Teamsters.  On Wednesday night,  the president of the Transit Workers Union local said  that if the bill were to pass, they would file a law suit against the City for taking public park land for a private business . 

A combination of the Teamsters withdrawing their support of the bill, coupled with a threatened law suit and a potential battle of one union against the other, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito withdrew the bill.  Many Council Members want Teamster support and would have changed their vote to NO. 

BAD FOR SPEAKER & MAYOR:  A loss like this is bad for both the Mayor and Speaker. It shows they lacked the ability to put together a deal that everyone liked. Trying to decimate the pedicabs with the assistance of the entitled carriage trade and some naive animal rights groups is shameful; and selling the horses out to a life of continued misery – but having to lie about it – equally shameful. It was a bad bill.

WHAT NEXT?  We do not know what will happen next.  But this issue has been tossed around for 30 years.  Yes you heard right.   It is nothing new.  We started the most recent campaign in 2006.  We need supporters who have the integrity, intelligence and courage  to make a ban happen.  The carriage drivers have been offered several different alternative industries to make a living — more than many other people who lose their jobs.  They have turned down all of them, digging in their heels.  Why does this tiny trade – fewer than 300 people have so much clout in the City Council?  That remains the questions.  Why?

 

SOME ARTICLES:

NY 1 reports bill’s demise

Capital reports on threatened lawsuit

Observer reports on Teamsters pulling out

 

The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
P.O. Box 20247  | Park West Station  | New York, NY 10025  |  Coalition@banhdc.org

 

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