Group calls for cruelty probe into NYC’s horse carriage industry

Group calls for cruelty probe into NYC’s horse carriage industry

Animal rights advocates and lawmakers are calling on Manhattan’s district lawyer to probe claims of abuse related to the town’s horse carriage industry.

Metropolis Councilman Robert Holden from Queens renewed his personal calls to finish the observe of horse carriages after the very public collapse of a horse in Manhattan final week. On Tuesday, he’ll be part of with members of nonprofit animal advocacy and political motion group NYCLASS – New Yorkers for Clear, Livable, and Secure Streets – outdoors of Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg’s workplace to name for extra thorough oversight to stop such incidents from occurring once more.

“Let’s look at the industry as a whole,” Holden informed Gothamist on Monday. “Are they protecting the interests of the horses, who, of course, we have to protect? They can’t protect themselves. They can’t speak.”

The district lawyer’s workplace didn’t instantly present remark when reached Monday by Gothamist.

The newest push got here lower than per week after a carriage horse named Ryder collapsed onto a Manhattan avenue on a scorching summer season night, drawing a crowd of spectators. Law enforcement officials responding to the scene needed to hose off the animal earlier than getting it again to its toes. Subsequent footage of the incident additionally reportedly confirmed the horse carriage operator aggressively attempting to get the horse again to its toes as its footing began to wane.

Pete Donohue, a spokesman for Transport Staff Union Native 100, the group that represents horse carriage drivers, had informed Gothamist that the ailing horse was affected by equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a neurological illness horses can contract from consuming contaminated opossum droppings, and never warmth exhaustion.

Edita Birnkrant, the chief director at NYCLASS, has been adamant about placing an finish to horse-drawn carriages within the metropolis and has stood with Holden in hopes of passing new laws to finish the observe.

“The carriage drivers and owners care so little for these horses that they don’t have emergency procedures in place for something like this. We’ve seen this over and over again,” she informed Gothamist in an interview final week. “When horses have life-threatening emergencies, they have no vet there to treat them and they either suffer or die or are at risk of dying.”

On Friday, Holden joined with NYCLASS, Voters for Animal Rights and PETA to announce their very own preparations with a licensed sanctuary to formally retire Ryder, the lawmaker stated. The group had reached out to the person Holden’s workplace had recognized as Ryder’s proprietor, Ian McKeever, however had not heard again as of Monday, Holden stated.

Makes an attempt to achieve McKeever had been unsuccessful.

In an interview with Gothamist, TWU Native 100 carriage horse driver Hansen stated it was unfair to counsel that drivers didn’t care for their horses.

As for McKeever, Hansen stated that whereas he was using with Ryder that day, he didn’t personal the horse or the carriage, as he was working as a fill-in driver that day. Hansen stated McKeever had been using for 35 years, however Wednesday was the primary time he’d finished so since earlier than the pandemic. However, he informed her he was nonetheless shaken up by final week’s incident in Manhattan.

“It’s rough for him. He was there by himself,” Hansen stated.

She added, “He said, ‘Listen I panicked. I tried to get the horse up, and when I tried to get the horse up. All of a sudden, there was an angry mob.’”

Holden introduced legislation last month that would block new licenses and replace the horse-drawn carriage industry with a horseless electric carriage instead. If enacted, it would be the most significant law affecting the industry since the City Council passed legislation in 2019 making it illegal for horse-drawn carriages to operate when temperatures reach 90 degrees or above, or whenever the air temperature is 80 degrees or above and the equine heat index is at 150 or above.

A spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams said his office was open to discussions on future legislation concerning the industry. The mayor’s office also said it was investigating the incident last week in Manhattan and would be following up with Ryder’s owner.

Now, Holden is asking the NYPD, the Council’s health committee, the health department and the Manhattan district attorney to look into the industry. His bill currently has a total of 12 sponsors in the City Council – a number that he said should be higher.

“It’s disgraceful that these councilmembers are not stepping up,” he informed Gothamist on Monday. “I should have 26, at least, so I can say to the speaker, ‘I’ve got the majority of the City Council behind me.’ Shame on them.”

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