5-41/227- November 7, 2010

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Periodic updates about issues and actions concerning New York City's Carriage Horses +
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages www.banhdc.org

Horses Without Carriages International www.horseswithoutcarriages.org

PLEASE FORWARD TO LISTS, FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES ** Carriage horse hit by bus ** Videos -- Institutionalized Cruelty & ASPCA fails carriage horses ** Cozumel ** Horseless carriage ** old newsletters

is OK at least on the surface
carriage horse A passerby reported this very upsetting incident to us: On Wednesday, November 3rd at 5:30 PM at 53rd -54th St and 7th avenue, she witnessed a horse-drawn carriage collide with a NYC bus. The bus hit the horse and the rear wheel of the carriage. The horse was very upset, spooky and terrified. The drivers both stopped probably to exchange insurance information. The eye witness made a point to tell me that the driver ignored the horse - did not comfort him. The horse was obviously in distress.

Horse drawn carriages are not allowed in this area -- between 57th St. and 42nd St - and between 7th and 9th Avenue before 11:30 PM at night. The law is very clear on this -- WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS A PASSENGER. The ASPCA has told me that they will ONLY give a ticket if the driver has a passenger. This is also not a direct route back to the stable. That would be three blocks west on 9th Avenue. The ASPCA makes up its own interpretation of the law favoring the drivers. Of course, it really does not matter where or when the accident was - just that it happened.

New York City is one of the most congested cities in the world. Traffic is a nightmare. 19th century slow moving flimsy horse-drawn carriages should not be on the street. See the NYC Administrative code - § 20-381.1 for the law that applies. This incident was reported to the Department of Health and the ASPCA. We also provided the Gothamist with the information. [all pictures are of the accident, except for Cozumel.)

in the carriage horse trade -- Our New Video
carriage The carriage horse industry in NYC likes to "brag" that the ASPCA has never issued a violation for animal cruelty. By that, they mean a violation of either the misdemeanor or felony statute Section 353 and 353A of the NYS code. PLEASE: Take that with a HUGE grain of salt.

Please take a look at my new video Institutional cruelty in the carriage industry.

a must see for those who care about the horses
Many of you have seen this video -- but for those who have not, it is a must see. ASPCA Fails NYC Carriage Horses was made by Donny Moss, the director of Blinders; The Truth Behind the Tradition, to document what happened at the signing of the carriage industry bill in April 2010. Notice Council Member Gennaro saying that according to "the ASPCA's own testimony, they are out there over 200 days a year - no other industry gets that level of oversight." HUH! Is he talking about NYC? And then listen to Mayor Bloomberg say that the ASPCA has never issued a violation for animal cruelty.

This was truly a sad day for honesty, ethics, good government and of course NYC's carriage horses. Thank you Donny Moss for capturing this for posterity. If anyone wants to join Donny in his campaign against Speaker Christine Quinn, please e-mail him at donnymoss@me.com. Make no mistake about it, Quinn is the reason we have had no animal legislation passed in the last several years. We must prevent her from becoming our next mayor.

or anything questionable.
bus Please take pictures of the incident. This should include a picture of the carriage, horse, driver and anything else that was involved. If possible, note the 4-digit engraved number on the left front hoof of the horse. Note the license plate number on the back of the carriage. If you do not have a camera, record descriptions. Note the exact location and time. This is very important.

Please contact us first. This is also very important. Depending on what it is, we can try to get media attention and to contact the City Council. Our e-mail is coalition@banhdc.org. If you just contact the ASPCA, the complaint may disappear. WE want to rid NYC of the horse-drawn carriage trade in NYC, not enable them. Any thing you can do to move that along will be much appreciated.

bus 2 Imprint - November 2, 2010 - Horseless Carriages for NYC? - Steven Heller. The carriage horses lining West 59th Street at the foot of Central Park cannot be happy. Although the horse-drawn Hansom cab, designed by English architect Joseph Hansom in 1834, has been a New York City fixture since the Hansom Cab Company was started in 1869, today it is outmoded. The poor steeds pulling these and other buggies around Central Park have caught the eye of animal rights groups who allege mistreatment, and one group, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets), founded three years ago by Stephen W. Nislick, wants to replace carriage horses with clean hybrid, customized retro-looking vehicles. By introducing "green" cars, NYCLASS is banking that social entrepreneurship and good design will trump a timeworn tradition and provide a humane alternative.

I used to go horseback riding and still love watching these majestic animals, but not in a bustling city (or even a bucolic park in the heart of a bustling city). Vintage autos - even faux versions - are much kinder on the eye and conscience, and can provide a similar experience. This is not, however, just an animal rights issue, it is a design problem: How can a city as design conscious as New York retain a timeworn tourist attraction without descending to Disney-level kitsch? These new/old replica horseless carriges could be an answer. The idea is to have a fleet 68 of "Eco-Carriage" cars, including five different models in five different colors from 1930s to 1950s. They may even appeal to even jaded native New Yorkers from time to time.

One of the potential manufacturers, The Creative Workshop in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida founded by Jason Wemig, is currently producing vehicles from scratch, restoring and customizing "some of the most rare and exotic cars in the world," states a report showing possible styles. And frankly, who wouldn't prefer to drive around the park in style - or as though on a movie set. Of course there are "traffic and safety" and "feasibility and economics" concerns, and NYCLASS commissioned studies on both. Not surprisingly, Nislick, CEO of Edison Properties LLC, a real estate and development company in Newark, who is cooperating with the ASPCA, says the carriage horse industry "is not convinced that the replica cars will be successful." Citing existing hazards with traffic and pedestrians, and horses involved in reported accidents, Nislick says that the cars would improve conditions on the streets. And having watched the film "Blinders" about the accidents caused by carriage horses, I believe him. Design plays a significant role in appealing to the the New Yorker's sense of place. Although contrary to all the teachings of Modernism about timelessness, Manhattan is a historic place, and Central Park, which never changes (except for the seasons, of course), is the core the ole New York's legacy. Populating it with faux and retro-fitted automobiles may not advance the cause of contemporary design - which is embodied in current architectural trends - but it doesn't detract either. Instead, it simply substitutes a more eye-catching form of design for a total cliché. What's more, the "nostalgic value" is a draw for more than 80 percent of the people who were surveyed. Eco-friendliness is another factor, though statistically far below the former. Only four percent in the survey cited humane treatment of horses to be a concern. Substituting vintage rides for sort-of picturesque carriages will be a change in Park culture, but it will not detract from the quality of the tourist or native experience. And over time, it will be accepted as the standard. Wouldn't it be great to see those classic cars skirting around the park as though they had never faded from view.

sign petition to ban horse-drawn carriages
cozumel Cozumel, Mexico is a member of Horses Without Carriages International. It is a beautiful island well known for its beaches. Unfortunately, it also has carriage horses - yet another place where horses are treated badly, with disdain. Activists in Cozumel are trying hard to shut down this industry. Please help this cause by signing a petition to ban carriage horses in Cozumel. Click here.

If you are on Facebook, please join their page. No Calesas En Cozumel

Many of our old newsletters, HorseSense, can be viewed online. Click here.

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See our Facebook page called No Walk in the Park. And while you are there, please join another anti carriage horse page by a colleague called 212HorsePower

"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 to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages - a standing committee of The Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc.

Please DONATE to our campaign to ban the inhumane and unsafe carriage horse industry.

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