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A personal perspective on animal welfare

Horse-Drawn Carriage Horse – Response

Well, looks like my post on Horse-Drawn Carriage has elicit a negative response from a particular individual. Thanks for commenting but I want to clear this up a bit. My blog is written from a personal view, drawn from personal experiences as well as many sources I research. It is always my foremost duty to provide a honest, fair and balanced account.

To Decembergirl60, I applaud you for your love and respect for your own horses in providing a good life for them. However your case is an exception, not the rule. I’ve been a New Yorker for 25 years and have seen the conditions of horses around town. While I cannot say I know each horse intimately I do sense that most that I’ve seen appear rundown, tired, and agitated from noise pollution – there is no denying that traffic and horses don’t mix. All other comments, which I should have highlighted clearly was from various newsource like NYTimes, as well as humane organizations. I do not make this stuff up.

If you so vehemently disagree, I can only provide the following links. Oh, yes– according to the NYTimes, horse-drawn carriages have been banned in Lonodon, Paris, Toronto and Beijing. Again, thanks for your comments.

Articles:

  1. Startled carriage horse dies after bolting onto a sidewalk, killed in Central Park
  2. Carriage horses and accidents in NYC – endangering people and animal (documented)
  3. Audit of practice fins inconsistencies. Horses deprived of water, risk of overheating, hot asphalt, inadequate drainage
  4. Horse drawn vehicles are outlawed in London, Paris, Toronto and Beijing.
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Filed under: animal cruelty, Resources, ,

One Response

  1. Alice says:

    In response to Jenny:
    Let’s be clear. By and large, the NYC carriage horses are inadequately watered, year round. Your “spin” is more articulate than most, but it doesn’t cut it. As the audit found, and as equine veterinary experts such as Holly Cheever have reported, the horses’ very lives are flat-out precarious. They do not get the 10-12 gallons a day of water that they require, they stand in their own waste, have only infrequent veterinary care, get no turnout, live a nose-to-tailpipe existence, are subject to musculoskeletal and hoof ailments, and travel up to 4 miles a day in NYC traffic.

    Dr. Cheever’s latest letter, published in Metro (NY) on February 26, 2008, stated in part: “New York’s version of its horse-drawn tourist attraction is by far the worst in terms of the number of of the horses dying in unacceptable numbers and at very young ages, though the public is never made aware of this fact. Currently, the best that can be said of New York’s operating conditions is that they may be
    survivable–barely–but they are never humane. Please
    urge the City Council to vote for a permanent ban on
    horse-drawn carriages, and eliminate this cruel 19th
    century anachronism from our 21st century setting.”

    Why, indeed, would the drivers not give adequate water? Let’s be real about the facts. Until the last few weeks, the spigots were turned off in Central Park for the winter, leaving no water in the troughs. When the humane officers, when they even deign to give a warning, turn their backs for a second, the drivers scurry off into the park to hide…then come right back out to work the horses more. To the readers, please understand that the need for a horse to have sufficient water is urgent year-round. All winter the troughs were empty and only filled with tossed-away rubbish. Now they are filled with some filthy water mixed in with rubbish and bird droppings.

    The audit underscores what we have long known: that enforcement is no longer an option. It has been “tried” and failed miserably for decades. The accident rate, and death rate for the horses, is only getting worse. It is for these reasons that the ASPCA, the HSUS, PETA, Friends of Animals, in Defense of Animals, and many, many other organizations have united as part of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. They are not calling for “self-regulation” as the industry wants, but for an outright ban. And, by the way, the business about the horses living a “nose to tailpipe existence” is more than a cliche. Vets have found this exposure to confer a risk along the lines of cigarette smoking for development of an emphysema-like disease.

    Also, the NYC Department of Transportation has found the asphalt surfaces can reach a temperature of 200 degrees (Fahrenheit). Of course, equine veterinary experts say that it is the ASPHALT surface that should be monitored to collect the temperature reading, because the horses’ heads are near the pavement (when they’re not sucking in exhaust fumes).

    Sincerely,
    Alice

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