6-35/269 August 28, 2011

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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


I hope everyone is safe. On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, we survived it pretty well. The rain has stopped - maybe temporarily. The trees i see out my window are still standing. My windows did not get blown in. We are all safe.

Yesterday, NYC was getting seriously into emergency mode. Stores were busy as people bought groceries to last through the next month. The NYC transit system began to shut down at 12 noon. People in low lying areas had been asked to evacuate as early as Thursday and Friday. President Obama declared a state of emergency for New York State about 5 p.m. on Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, a Category 2 storm, making landfall on the East Coast. This was the President of the US -- not the Mayor or Governor - but the President. Serious stuff.

On Friday, I e-mailed my contacts at the Administration and the ASPCA asking them to shut down the carriage horse trade beginning on Saturday. True to form, they ignored me. They always do. On Saturday, we learned that the horse carriages were out working - the drivers plying their trade. It rained intermittently and heavily on Saturday. The City was in crisis mode - but the entitled carriage horse trade were allowed to work.

Donny Moss is the director and producer of the award winning documentary about the NYC carriage trade Blinders: the Truth Behind the Tradition.. Donny decided to walk from his apartment almost three miles away to document this travesty.

8/27/11 - a photo editorial by Donny Moss
Dear animal advocate: Several hours ago, portions of NYC were evacuated for the first time in history, and the largest public transportation system in the country was shut down due to Hurricane Irene. With conditions deteriorating, Mayor Bloomberg implored NYers to stay home for our own safety and so that emergency vehicles can easily navigate the streets. Downpours occurred throughout the day. In spite of all of the above and the law which clearly states that carriage operators cannot work during "ice, heavy rain or other slippery conditions," dozens of horse-drawn carriage operators were working as of 4:30 p.m. If history repeats itself, the horses will be forced to make the long, treacherous trip through the streets of midtown back to the "stables" when the storm intensifies.

As usual, the ASPCA, which collects an untold amount of money from donors in the name of helping the carriage horses, allowed the carriage drivers to leave the stables this morning and to work all day in the wet streets in spite of the law. The ASPCA, which was founded to protect the carriage horses, continues to stand by and watch as the carriage operators to break the law. They mock -- instead of support -- the advocates who are working tirelessly to take the horses out of harm's way. And they continue to refuse to use their substantial clout, power and resources to shut this industry down, in spite of their own stance that horse-drawn carriages should be banned from NYC.

The horse-drawn carriage industry is also enabled -- if not empowered -- by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has blocked all efforts to take these horses out of midtown, killing bills in committee before they see the light of day. In fact, Quinn has killed every meaningful animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since she became Speaker in 2006. Following are pictures of horses working in the rain at about 3:00 p.m. today. Please share this information with your friends who donate money to animal organizations and/or who vote in NYC. Thank you. Donny Moss [edit.note: the ASPCA suspended the carriage trade about 4pm yesterday, possibly in response to the many phone calls and e-mails they received.]











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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.