Current Issue -
Current Issue: 26 August 2007 - Vol. # 46
Post Card Campaign **
Air America Radio **
Report on Oversight of Carriage Horse Industry
VOLUNTEER TO HELP
next Saturday, September 1st
The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages needs volunteers to help
get signatures on petitions to the Mayor and City Council -- and to
hold posters. We are also asking passersby to participate in our
post card campaign to Mayor Bloomberg. This is not a demonstration
but an educational event. It is an excellent opportunity to help the
horses and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer. WHEN: Saturday,
September 1, 2007 WHERE: midtown - information will be given
to volunteers. TIME: 1-5 PM.
If you would like to participate in our
postcard campaign, please
contact us at email@example.com. Tell us how many you want
and provide your mailing address. The card is addressed to Mayor
Bloomberg and asks him to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry. We
ask that you have your friends, family and coworkers sign the card
and mail it in. To date, we have sent thousands of post cards to
Mayor Bloomberg from New Yorkers and tourists alike. You may read
more about it in a previous newsletter by clicking on the link
ISSUE ON AIR AMERICA RADIO
this Saturday, August 25th
Listen to GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN this Saturday, August 25th when
Teresa D'Amico of the Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages
is interviewed about the carriage horse issue in NYC. You can listen
to the stream on Air America, Saturday at 2:00 PM EST at
www.AirAmerica.com or on the radio in New York on Saturday at
10:00 PM EST at WWRL 1600 AM. It will be podcast and archived at
CARRIAGE-HORSE INDUSTRY AUDITED
Comptroller's Office issues report dated June 27, 2006
The NYC Comptroller's Office issued an "Audit Report on the
Licensing and Oversight of the Carriage-Horse Industry by the
Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs".
The NYC charter - Chapter 5,Section 93, gives the Comptroller's
office the responsibility to audit city agencies. The audits provide
a means of ensuring that City agencies are complying with the
applicable statues that govern their operations. While the audit
determined that the DoH and the DCA generally have adequate controls
and generally comply with applicable rules and regulations, several
problems were identified.
The report noted that the Administrative Code statue includes a
requirement for an Advisory Board to have been established - but the
DoH has failed to establish the Board since the enactment of the
statue. The Comptroller's report recommended establishing such a
board and the DoH Commissioner, Thomas Frieden, has agreed to do so.
Let's hope this is a good thing because the danger is that the
Commissioner will stack the board with lackeys who will attempt to
give the appearance of deliberating on issues but in effect will
simply keep the status quo.
NO DoH HORSE EXAMS IN 2006 IN FIELD; DCA - NOT ENOUGH CARRIAGE
The Audit goes on to say that "both
agencies' efforts in monitoring and overseeing the carriage-horse
industry raise concerns." In the entire year 2006, the DoH
veterinarian did not examine the condition of any of the horses in
the field and DCA inspectors did not perform the required number of
inspections of the horse-drawn carriages. So for all those
government officials who claim that there are adequate rules and
regulations and that they are being enforced - they do not
know what they are talking about!
NO WATER FOR HORSES; STANDING
IN POOLS OF WATER; NO SHADE
The Audit pointed out several issues that are very problematical. It
is our contention that they add to the evidence that it is
impossible to operate the carriage horse industry humanely in NYC.
They are: "there are no water spigots in the areas carriages wait
to pick up passengers, which makes it difficult to obtain drinking
water for the horses and to clean up the dust that accumulates." [it
is feces and urine] "There is inadequate drainage where the horses
line up; thus the horses are left to stand in pools of dirty water."
"During the hot months, the asphalt where the horses line up becomes
very hot. Other materials, such as concrete, would be easier on the
horses' hooves. In addition, on hot days, there is little shade for
the horses, which could cause them to overheat."
These are excellent observations and
one wonders why an audit was not done prior to this date; also why
no government official ever made these points an issue. Our
Coalition has previously pointed out that the horses do not get
watered when they are on the Central Park South hack line and that
when they enter the park, it is up to the discretion of the driver
whether or not he will allow his horse to drink from the water
trough. It is also unhealthy for the horses to stand in pools of
dirty water -- horses doing so over a period of time have a good
chance of contracting thrush, which can lead to painful and
debilitating hoof damage. And the point about the asphalt being hot
is well taken. It can actually be about 40 degrees hotter than the
air temperature, which is tested to determine when the horses will
be sent back to the stable.
DIFFERING INFORMATION ON
CERTIFICATES OF HEALTH
Certificates of Health for 2006 were compared with 2005 and in 57 of
the 135 certificates reviewed there were differences that included
age, color, breed and the name of the horse. This precaution was
taken to ensure that horses are not being switched or that one
license number is not being used for several horses. Sloppy record
keeping - or something else? - Whatever - the Comptroller's office
stated that they were "still troubled by the large number of
certificates with differing information."
EXTRA PLATE NUMBERS ON STREET
Auditors found a carriage plate number - 1303, which was not
included on the DCA's list of 68 carriage licenses. The DCA did
not have any explanation for this. We have also found two plates
- 1129 and 1165, which also were not on the DCA list. Our
complaint goes back to January 2007 when we wrote a letter to
the DCA commissioner, which he has ignored.
There are only supposed to be 68 carriages working in this
industry. The DCA cannot seem to get a handle on the actual
number. It is possible that there are several more because they
simply cannot do a proper job in monitoring it.
The Audit is not listed on the
Comptroller's web site
-- others are. The Audit number and
name are: #MH07-092A and is called "Audit Report on the
Licensing and Oversight of the Departments of Health and Mental
Hygiene and Consumer Affairs." Comptroller's office -
212-669-2797. You may call and ask for a copy or wait until it
is up on our web site - www.banhdc.org under "news."
and tell them about this report if
they are not aware of it. Once again, ask them to support
legislation that would put an end to this inhumane industry.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that
ever has." - Margaret Mead
|Thank you for caring about the horses, Elizabeth
Forel - Coalition for NYC Animals, Inc. for the
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages