A Life and Death Without Dignity—NYC Advocates Seek Ban on Horse Carriages
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.
Telephone: 311 or 212-NEW YORK- (outside NYC)
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
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.
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