(CARRIAGE HORSES) NEW YORK CITY — On December 12, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a petition with the New York Supreme Court asking them to demand the release of the New York Police Department’s enforcement records surrounding the horse-drawn carriage industry. Even though it’s one of the NYPD’s duties to ensure the health of carriage horses, they couldn’t produce any record of enforcement upon request. Continue reading below to find out how this negligence can cause problems for carriage horses and New York City. — Global Animal

An animal rights group devoted to abolishing the horse carriage industry in New York City declared victory. Photo Credit: flickr
New York City isn’t a suitable enviornment for horses, who often work up to 9 hours a day. Photo Credit: flickr

Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

Today the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a petition with the New York Supreme Court asking the court to force the New York Police Department (NYPD) to turn over enforcement records regarding the city’s horse-drawn carriage industry.

One of NYPD’s duties is to oversee the health and safety of carriage horses, passengers, and passersby in New York City. And yet, NYPD has insisted that, after conducting a “diligent search,” it could find “no records” of its own enforcement. New York’s Department of Health has indicated NYPD does have these enforcement records. ALDF contends that the carriage industry suffers from gross under-regulation, and notes evidence—from the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages—of a pattern of industry violations that disregard regulations designed to protect horse welfare and safety.

It is for these reasons—the inhumane conditions for horses and the grave risk to public safety—that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has vowed to ban the industry upon taking office. Similarly, New York State Senator Tony Avella has sponsored a bill that would prohibit the operation of horse-drawn carriages in New York City and mandate the humane relocation of the horses.

Avella stated, “I applaud the Animal Legal Defense Fund for initiating this lawsuit that will hopefully bring some much needed  transparency to this industry.  Ultimately though, enough is enough. How many more accidents, injuries and deaths is it going to take before we end this inhumane industry?  It is absolutely clear that the time has come to ban horse-drawn cabs in the city of New York as horses are easily excited by everyday occurrences in city life. We can no longer justify the risk of serious injury or death to these animals or to the public at large.”

“New York’s carriage horses work up to nine hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, in traffic conditions that jeopardize their safety and the safety of passersby. When not shackled to the carriages they pull, the horses are kept in tiny stalls, rarely released to pasture, and are unable to experience normal movements during the course of their lives,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “For the sake of these great animals, and the safety of New Yorkers, we hope Mayor de Blasio will ban this unregulated, inhumane, and dangerous industry as promised.”

Read more about the petition here: http://aldf.org/blog/shut-down-new-yorks-carriage-horse-industry/