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

Current Issue - Past Issues

8 July 2007 - Vol. # 39 (See also: 5 July 2007 - Vol. # 38 - SPECIAL EDITION)

PETA Demo ** Bud ** Henry Bergh & the ASPCA ** What You Can Do ** New Blog

Demo sponsored by PETA - July 11 - 12:00-1:00
Bud - 7-4-07People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is sponsoring a demonstration on Wednesday, July 11th near City Hall park to protest the most recent accident involving Bud, a 12 year old carriage horse, that occurred on July 4th. Please join us. Time: 12:00 to 1:00 on Broadway at City Hall Park.

MANY TRAINS GO TO CITY HALL -- THIS IS HOW TO GET THERE: #2 & 3 - get off at Park Place exit at Park Place and Broadway - demo will be across the street. #4,5, & 6 - get off at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. This will leave you on the east side of City Hall - you will need to walk through City Hall Park to Broadway (very short walk) R & W - Get off at City Hall - this leaves you at Broadway - right at the demonstration; E,C A - Get off at Chambers St./World Trade Center - take the Church St. and Park Place exit and walk one block east to Broadway.

the 12 year old gelding involved in this accident
7-4-07 - Bud  - legWho knows why Bud was spooked. Maybe he just couldn't take it anymore. He was on the job for a few years according to our records so it is not like he was new to traffic. But something obviously scared him and he tore down the street - fleeing from his tormentors. We have been told that Bud will be retired to a farm. Hmmmmm. I find that hard to accept. Horses in the carriage industry are commodities - they need to work to earn money for their owners. They are expensive to keep - and medical bills are not cheap. We were told that Bud's tendon or ligament had been cut and his foot was hanging. The NY Post reported that Bud was walked back to the stable on W. 52nd St. Judging by the extent of Bud's injuries, why didn't the ASPCA use their horse trailer to transport him? This stable is over one mile from the scene of the accident. A colleague e-mailed me about this and I could not have said it better. "I find it extremely cruel that they have to make the horse walk back to the stables with gashes on his leg. How horrific and inhumane!" We want to know where Bud is and if he can be saved!

The officers at the ASPCA did not return calls when asked if they could provide information as to what happened to the horse. My source lies elsewhere. In the words of Albert Einstein "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look and do nothing" The ASPCA could probably shut down this industry with all they know - but they will not. It assures them of a job and being the heroes of the TV program Animal Precinct.

founder of ASPCA
7-4-07 - carriage in accidentIt is ironic that the ASPCA was founded more than 100 years ago by a man - Henry Bergh - who had qualities that one has not seen in either the leadership or officers of the ASPCA for what seems like forever. He had guts, great fortitude, courage, and operated by a moral imperative when it came to the animals. Bergh was not afraid to do the right thing by the animals and got the name "the Great Meddler" by the press. He was a tireless protester against the abuse of animals and it was not unusual for him and his agents to be on the street arresting people for beating their horses.

Horses were his passion and he has referred to them in his speeches as "that generous and faithful servant, the horse" and "that noble creature, the horse." "What struck me most forcibly," Bergh declared, "was that mankind derived immense benefits from these creatures, and gave them in return not the least protection." He even wore a gold horse's-head scarf pin.

Bergh with tearsSo what has happened to the ASPCA? Why does it take a David (us) - to their Goliath to advocate for these horses? As Jill Weitz stated in her piece in a recent newsletter - "The ultimate responsibility lies with the leadership of the ASPCA. President Ed Sayres claims in a letter he sent to a colleague of mine that they have not pursued a ban because there is no political will to end this practice. But isn't the ASPCA and other animal welfare groups in the business of BUILDING political will? Why is Mr. Sayres allowing this suffering to go on? According to the ASPCA website: "A basic tenet of [ASPCA founder, Henry] Bergh's philosophy, protecting animals was an issue that crossed party lines and class boundaries. To his audience, which included some of Manhattan's most powerful business and government leaders, he stressed, 'This is a matter purely of conscience; it has no perplexing side issues. It is a moral question in all its aspects.'" If Henry Bergh were around today, wouldn't he wonder why these horses are still suffering 140 years later?

The leadership of the ASPCA is technically in the hands of its board. Some boards rubber stamp what the president wants. Others take a more forceful stand with the president as figure head. We wonder about the silent ASPCA board - particularly since it was not quite three years ago when they presumably favored taking a position in favor of a ban. As I said - What happened? Too much hard work? Too much of making a case? Is there an internal conflict?

to help the horses
7-4-07 - taxi in accident1. PARTICIPATE in our Post Card campaign to Mayor Bloomberg - See our past newsletter for more information. 2. VOLUNTEER with us this Saturday, July 14th - from 1-4 near the hack line. E-mail Teresa at if you can make it.

3. CONTACT MAYOR BLOOMBERG - Ask him to support a ban of this cruel and archaic industry. 4. CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER- if you have already done so - call again. Ask them to support legislation for a ban of this industry. 5. CONTACT the ASPCA - Ed Sayres, president. Ask him to act in the spirit of their founder Henry Bergh and support legislation to ban this industry. 5. PURCHASE - our T-shirts - or other merchandise to get the message out. We are selling out two Ts at our cost for the summer only. Click here for our on-line store.

about the carriage horse issue

Check out this new blog and comment! Forward to every one you know. Click here.

Photo Credit: Juan Arellano All photos (with the exception of the weeping Henry Bergh) are copyrighted and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages has been given permission to use them. If you would like permission to use these photos, please contact