News & Announcements



INTRO 35A, Carriage Industry bill, passes the City Council on April 14, 2010.
April 17, 2010

Intro 35A's main purpose for existence was to provide a rate increase for the drivers.  Although many essentially gave themselves their own raise by cheating on the street and charging exorbitant amounts on their web sites, no one in authority cared, preferring to look the other way.

But in order to pretend the bill actually did something for the horses, these are some of the provisions (or lack of) and our comments after.  Please note that nothing in the bill negatively affects the earning ability of the drivers.  This bill will cost them very little.  There are no changes that will affect the viabity of the industry.

These horses will continue to live an existence that is survivable, but not humane. 

 STALL SIZE
The Myth:    --
the bill calls out for larger stall sizes - 60 square feet or larger with a minimum width of 7 feet. This is a small box stall although it is referred to in the bill as a "standing" stall.   

The Truth:  the reality is that many of the stables are already using the small box stall with the exception of West Side Livery, although this stable can move partitions around to create bigger stalls.  

This size is still inadequate by more than half.  The NYS Horse Health Assurance Program, NYSHHAP, which is part of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, suggests a 12'x 12' (144 square feet) for standard breds and a 14' x 14'  (196 square feet) for larger draft breeds.  This is the size that is suggested by most experts to enable the horses to fully extend their legs as they stretch out.  See the testimony of Elizabeth Forel and the NYC Bar Association from the Department of Health Hearing on March 3, 2010.  


FURLOUGHS or VACATIONS  
The  Myth:
 the bill called out for each horse to have five weeks of vacation each year.   This is the most misunderstood section of the bill since people confuse their own needs with that of a horse.  

The Truth:  Horses are not people.  They are herd animals and their needs are quiet different.  Vacations are human concepts and most people would love to have five weeks of vacation a year.  Horses instead require daily turnout or pasture time. After working nine hours a day, they should have the ability to go out to pasture and interact with other horses.  They need that time to run, play, buck and roll with other horses and sleep in the pasture if they choose; to stratch themselves, stretch and engage in mutual grooming, a great stress reliever.   The pasture can also be the source of very nutritious grasses.  It is inhumane and disingenuous to suggest anything else. 

 It is impossible to provide this at any of the carriage horse stables in NYC because there is no room to do so.  

NYS STATE DRIVER'S LICENSE REQUIREMENT 
The Myth:  The bill requires that the driver's training program be available only to persons holding a currently valid driver's license.  

The Truth:   This means that it is still not a requirement for everyone else in the industry to have a NYS drivers license.  Drivers of horse-drawn carriages are  not required to have a NYS driver's license unless they are new to the industry.  

WATER:  
Water troughs in Central Park are shut off for half the year because of the cold weather.  Potable water should be supplied year round for the horses and it is shocking that it never was until horse advocates called attention to it.  The original version of Intro 35 called for the City of NY to pay for the new piping to make the water available year round.   There was a lot of criticism about this because the City does not have the money to take this on.  The carriage industry should pay for it.  

Instead, the sponsors of the bill removed this requirement.  They would prefer to deprive the  horses of water rather than to require that the industry pick up the tab.  The horses will continue not to have water available to them for six months a year in Central Park and all the time in every place else in the city, such as Times Square, in the evening hours.  

This is another reason why this industry should be shut down because it is not able to function humanely. 

HUMIDITY AND WIND CHILL:  
carriage horses are not allowed to work when the temperature reaches 90 degrees in the warm weather and 18 degrees in the winter.  However, humidity and the wind chill factor is not considered -- this would have been a substantive change.  Particularly in the summer, horses suffer from the heat and humidity.  This is yet another example of how the industry is just about money -- asking for more but not giving much back.  The ASPCA suggested that this be added to the bill but it was denied.  If it had been added, it would have made the horses more comfortable in the very hot and very cold weather ... but it would also have reduced the days the drivers could work.  They would lose money.  

This is a bad bill and as this text  is written, it has not yet been signed into law, but we expect that it will be.  

These horses live an existence that is survivable, but not humane. 













 


Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages


A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.


Contact:
The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025

e-mail
Coalition@banhdc.org



To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.


In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007