Weekly updates about issues and actions concerning New York City's Carriage Horses

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22 April 2007 - Vol. # 25

Volunteering - Horse Slaughter - Pedicabs - Opinion Piece - T-Shirt Sale

Tabling on Saturday, April 28th- Christine Quinn's district
tablingThe weather is great and the horses need your help. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages will be tabling on Saturday, April 28th in Speaker Christine Quinn's district. We need volunteers to help us get signatures on petitions to the Mayor and City Council -- and to hold posters. This is not a demonstration but an educational event. It is an excellent opportunity to help the horses and get to see how supportive both tourists and New Yorkers are. You can volunteer for one hour or four. We need to know when you will be there so we are sure to have coverage. Please contact Teresa at if you can volunteer.

WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 2007 WHERE: midtown - information will be given to volunteers. TIME: 1-5 PM

National Call-in Day - Tuesday, April 24th + Slaughter Video
horse pulledUPDATE IN A NUTSHELL: In the past several months, court rulings have effectively closed down all three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the United States -- two in Texas and one in Illinois. However, it has not stopped the slaughter of horses from the U.S. since they are now trucked into Mexico and Canada. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 249 and H.R. 503) will settle the matter permanently since it also prohibits the export of live horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

HORSE SLAUGHTER VIDEO - HSUS uncovers the cruelty of American horses exported to Mexico for slaughter in this shocking video dated Jan 23, 2007. Be forewarned that this is very graphic but is necessary viewing to enable you to bear witness to these atrocities and to learn as much as you can. Among other things, the video talks about New Holland, PA as one of the auctions from which horses are sent on to slaughter. Many unwanted NYC carriage horses end up at New Holland. Lilly O'Reilly was one - although she, fortunately, got lucky. The video also mentions that the data on these horses is wiped clean, leaving their origins untraceable.

HELP SAVE OUR HORSES FROM THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE: Ask Congress to stop the grisly practice of horse slaughter in the United States and the transport of America's horses for slaughter in other countries-and save nearly 140,000 American horses each year. Urge your U.S. representative to support H.R. 249 and H.R. 503 and your U.S. senators to support S. 311 to protect horses. Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your U.S. representative's and two U.S. senators' offices. Your 30-second phone calls urging your legislators to "please support H.R. 249 and H.R. 503/S. 311 to protect horses from slaughter" are critical.

Help defeat this bill! - Call Monday - April 23rd
pedicabsA bill to seriously curtail the burgeoning Pedicab industry has been vetoed by Mayor Bloomberg. Although he originally supported it, he came to accept that this bill was not the right way to regulate the industry.

However, hell bent on squashing this industry, Speaker Christine Quinn plans to call for a vote on Monday, April 23rd to override the mayor's veto. The original Council vote was 38-7. 34 votes are needed to override the Mayor's veto. Please call your Council Member and ask that they not vote for this bill. It is wrong and unfair. Everyone agrees that the Pedicab industry needs regulations - but putting an unreasonable cap on the number of Pedicabs - and requiring excessive insurance suggests that the carriage horse industry may well be reaching into the City Council. Is this right?

Interesting factoid: Speaker Quinn has accepted donations from two individuals (with matching contributions from their company) who work for the lobbying firm that has represented the carriage industry. This is perfectly legal - however - isn't something just a bit wrong with this picture? All five horse-carriage stables just happen to be in Quinn's Council district.

Please ask your Council Member to to act independently. After all - they are supposed to represent you and not be a rubber stamp for Christine Quinn. Suggest they go back to the drawing board and come up with a fair bill to regulate the Pedicab industry. Tell them that you do not want "politics as usual."

I avoid Central Park at all costs - by Mary Martin, Ph.D
horse pulling carriageI was raised on Long Island by two highly-educated parents whose idea of fun on weekends was to go to Manhattan and spend an afternoon at The Met (my mother was an opera singer), MoMa, catching an off-Broadway show or a matinee of some sort at Lincoln Center. I loved going into Manhattan, but I always steered clear of Central Park, if possible. Though the park is magnificent, and there's nothing better than walking through it on a brisk autumn day, as soon as I saw, smelled, or heard a carriage horse, I had a visceral reaction. I'd become nauseated and my mind would whirl with visions of the horses and what their lives were like. All year long, regardless of weather, dealing with traffic, living a life of endless servitude--it was all too much for me to think about.

Would we do what we do to the horses to dogs, I wondered? What makes it acceptable, when we have cars, bicycles and motorbikes, to cling to a bygone era, call it "romantic," and continue to use and abuse the very creatures that helped our forefathers settle America? Haven't they done enough for us? Or more important, what have they done to deserve to serve, for their entire lives, as slaves, doing nothing other than entertaining people and helping them make money?

I was raised by parents who had ethics at the forefront of their minds, yet they weren't vegetarians, they took me to the circus, and they took me to the zoo. But they would never condone the existence of the horse carriages that line the streets around Central Park. You don't have to be an animal person to know that there's simply no justification for that kind of animal use and abuse.

I now live in South Florida, where carriage horses have been banned in popular tourist destinations such as Palm Beach and Key West. It's delightful that the governments of those areas and others realize it's not safe for the horses or the people, and there are ways to profit from visitors that don't include cruelty. I wish the government of NYC felt the same way. To this day, when I go to visit friends and family, I stay downtown and avoid Central Park at all costs. I urge others to do so, as well. Mary Martin, Ph.D. is a professional writer and editor whose work covers a myriad of subjects and includes the blog where she deconstructs the ethics, economics, and language of our relationship with nonhuman animals See her blog of April 15th. - Of Horse Carriages and Incremental Abolition.

Promote our message to help the horses
t-shirtThe warm weather is here and it is time to wear your t-shirts - ours preferably. We have a sizable inventory of t-shirts in small, medium and large -- style pictured here -- that we want to sell to raise money. They run a little big. The slogan on this style is "Show Compassion," "Say No to a Carriage Ride."  We also have a few left of the "women's cap sleeve t-shirt" in size medium, which does not run big. The slogan on this shirt is "There's No Romance in Cruelty".

We are offering these shirts at $15 including postage - a $5-10 savings from our internet store. If you are interested, please e-mail me at with the size needed. I will e-mail you back to let you know if it is available. Only checks accepted. However, if you want to purchase anything through our store, credit cards are accepted through Paypal.

Although all sizes are available, please wait until you hear from me confirming it. At that time, checks should be made out to Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc., P.O. Box 20247, New York, NY 10025.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look and do nothing." -Albert Einstein

Thank you for caring about the horses, Elizabeth Forel - Coalition for NYC Animals, Inc. for the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages