Periodic updates about issues and actions concerning New York City's Carriage Horses +
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
Horses Without Carriages International
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CARRIAGE HORSE ISSUE UPDATE
Tuesday - Sept. 20th - 12 noon - save the date
We are not going away until the inhumane and unsafe horse and buggy trade is ended. Next Thursday, September 9th, a new bill will be introduced into the City Council. We call it Bobby's Bill after Bobby II Freedom, the horse we rescued last year from the kill auctions in New Holland with Equine Advocates. Bobby is now living the good life at their sanctuary in Chatham, NY. Read about his rescue by clicking here.
This bill was held up in the Council office for months and we do not know why -- but we can speculate. The language is the exact language we had inserted into then Council Member Tony Avella's Intro 658 (ban bill) and we later added into Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito's Intro 86 (electric car bill). In other words the language had already been approved -- twice. I suspect that the "industry" realized that this was something they did not like and wanted to kill it.
The bill does not have a number yet -- but this is the text - taken from Intro 86. See §17-329 Disposition of Licensed Horse - the new language is underlined. It will be a stand-alone bill and is sure to call attention to the fact that between 60 and 70 horses fall off the rolls of the Department of Health horse registry each year. These are the horses who are not sold within NYC. The bill will prevent the horses from going to the auctions where they can be purchased by kill buyers.
Please save the date - Tuesday September 20th at 12 noon for a press conference at City Hall on this bill. We hope you will arrange your schedules to come to this very important event.
COMMUNITY BOARD 4 TO HOLD HEARING
save the date - October 19th at 6:30 PM
Community Board 4, which covers the district of the carriage horse stables and is also Speaker Christine Quinn's district, has decided to hold a hearing on the carriage horse issue - the Avella/Rosenthal bill that is currently in the state legislature. We have heard that it is scheduled for October 19th at 6:30 PM - place to be announced.
It will be very important to get a huge crowd to participate.. For now, please mark the date in your calendar. More to come. (photo by HorseFeathers - taken on 9th Avenue)
NYC SHELTER BILL TO HAVE PUBLIC HEARING
Friday, September 9th at 10 AM
There is much to dislike about the shelter bill - Intro 655, that is backed by Speaker Christine Quinn, the ASPCA and the Mayor's Alliance. For one, it will repeal the law passed in 2000, which mandated shelters in all boroughs. That would have meant building a shelter in the Bronx and Queens. Queens is the second largest borough after Brooklyn and does not have an animal shelter. The 2010 census shows Queens with a population of 2,230,722 and Bronx with a population of 1,385,108. Somehow the Borough Presidents and the Council Members representing these boroughs all look the other way when it comes to animals.
Speaker Quinn is sending out e-mails to everyone she can lauding the bill. Please do not fall for it. The hearing is scheduled for Friday, September 9th at 10 AM on the 16th floor of 250 Broadway. Please testify.
MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT SCOTT STRINGER GETS IT RIGHT
wants an overhaul of the shelter system.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has a much better plan for our shelter system rather than to throw good money after bad. Please read his article published in the Huffington Post. And sign the related petition.
SHELTER REFORM ACTION COMMITTEE WEIGHS IN
The Shelter Reform Action Committee (SRAC) has been fighting the system for 17 years. But they do not have the clout - i.e., the money and power of the ASPCA. Read their new piece about the ASPCA and the shelter bill. Click here.
They are holding their first ever fund raiser on September 14th at the Gotham Comedy Club. Click Here for more information.
NEW YORK CITY DECLARES WAR ON CATS
Please act now
The new shelter bill also includes this provision:
While at first glance this may sound laudable, it is not. How will it be enforced? Will outside cats be rounded up to see if they are in fact neutered?
- d. Every owner of a cat who permits such cat to roam outside the interior of the owner's dwelling shall have such cat sterilized. At the request of employees or authorized agents of the department, owners shall provide proof satisfactory to the department that a cat found roaming has been sterilized.
Please read my blog New York City Declares War on Cats. And on the same blog, read Bad Bill for New York City's Homeless Animals by Bob Pomilla. And here is another important read - NYC to Cats: Drop Dead.
The funding that is being infused into the system is only replacing what was taken away some years ago. And as for TNR feral cat colonies -- why would anyone in their right mind register their colonies with the Department of Health or the ACC. This would be a death sentence. How can these organizations be trusted? Christine Quinn is the reason why term limits was killed in 2009 -- after the public voted for it twice. She is the reason why the legislation of 2000, which mandated shelters in every borough, will be repealed. If you currently oversee a colony, I recommend that you do not tell anyone the location because you will put your cats at risk.
PLEASE CONTACT THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS
they are sponsors of Intro 655
Because there is little time left, I strongly suggest you make these calls on Tuesday when their offices are open for business. Listed below are the names, e-mails and telephone numbers of the Council Members who are supporting this bill. Please note that some of them may not understand the implications of the danger it poses to cats. While you can say that you disagree with repealing the 2000 shelter mandate law, this seems to be a done deal. Focus on the punitive section of the bill mandating spay/neuter for outdoor cats. Tell them that this will put the cats at risk for being rounded up and killed by the ACC field staff. A better life-affirming proposal would be a public service campaign advertising and offering free spay/neuter.
You can also reach out to your own Council Members by clicking here.
- Jessica Lappin - email@example.com - (212) 980-1808
- Gale Brewer - firstname.lastname@example.org - (212) 873-0282
- Jumaane Williams - NO E-MAIL (718) 629-2900
- Melissa Mark-Viverito - email@example.com - (212) 828-9800
- James Vacca - firstname.lastname@example.org - (718) 931-1721
- Rosie Mendez - email@example.com - (212) 677-1077
- Margaret Chin - firstname.lastname@example.org - (212) 587-3159
- Leticia James - email@example.com - (718) 260-9191
- Karen Koslowitz - firstname.lastname@example.org - (718) 544-8800
- Daniel Garodnick - email@example.com - (212) 818-0580
- Sarah Gonzalez - firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 439-9012
This is the direct link to the bill, Intro 655
BEST FRIENDS WITHDRAWS SUPPORT OF INTRO 655
Best Friends Animal Society has withdrawn their support of Intro 655. This is their statement issued on September 3rd. Best Friends Animal Society's Reaction to New York City Initiative 655
While there are many good provisions for animals in New York City Initiative 655, sponsored by New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin, Best Friends Animal Society is not able to support the measure at this time.
There are several issues with 655. Best Friends Animal Society's main concerns are its lack of overall protection for feral cats and their caregivers, plus the mandating of sterilization and punitive fining of owners who have not had their cats fixed.
Best Friends believes 655 should include additional language to protect feral cats in general, along with their caregivers. Additionally, Best Friends believes mandated spay/neuter should be dropped unless a provision is made to the spay/neuter service provider language. This should include offering low cost, accessible and widely advertized spay/neuter services for low-income, under served populations, as well as to people cited under the provisions of this ordinance.
Some of these pictures may be hard to take, but they are a reality and it is better to know the truth than to pretend that better conditions exist. Thousands upon thousands of cats and dogs are killed at the Animal Care and Control pound every year. NYC is no closer to becoming a No Kill city than it was ten years ago. Yet there are cities like Austin, Texas and Reno, Nevada (to name a few) that have achieved over 90% no kill rates.
There is a big turnover of NYC carriage horses each year. Where do they all go? We believe many go to auctions where it is just the first stop on their way to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered. It is only when we are armed with the facts that we can make a positive difference.
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JOIN US ON FACE BOOK & SIGN ONLINE PETITION
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,
to our campaign to ban
the inhumane and unsafe carriage horse industry.