Sunday, January 13, 2008

Expert Opinion: Ed Sayres

"Neither the New York City environment nor the current law can provide horses with these fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well being,” Sayres said, “and we need to do something about it.”
--Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA supports Intro. 658 to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

Two-part Action Alert:
1) Familiarize yourself with the New York City Council and ask your Council member to cosponsor Intro. 658, the legislation introduced by Councilman Tony Avella.

2) Also ask him or her to NOT SUPPORT and to VOTE AGAINST Intro. 652 and Intro. 653, both industry bills, which would increases rates for drivers and advocate for costly and ineffective self-regulation of the industry, respectively. Intro. 653 offers "Band-Aid" measures such as more inspections and would create a situation in which a non-governmental agency (ie, a contractor with close ties to the industry) would have oversight, further complicating the quagmire that already exists--and at a high additional cost to taxpayers. As the ASPCA has noted, the industry needs more regulation, not less.

Intro. 653 is particularly worrisome, specifically the language describing the proposed inspections. They would be conducted "by authorized officers, veterinarians and employees of the department, and any persons designated by the commissioner."

Tip: Your letter sent by the U.S. Postal Service is said to have a far greater impact than email.


Anonymous said...

What did the ASPCA do to stop the abuse of the horses?

Mary Alice said...

The most important thing the ASPCA is doing to try to stop "the abuse of the horses" is to support Tony Avella's legislation (Intro. 658) calling for a FULL BAN on horse-drawn carriages.

In case you missed it: after the industry hired that pitiful vet, Dr. Lowe, to write up a bogus report proclaiming the horses to be in "excellent" health, Ed Sayres wrote a letter to the New York Sun. The letter, which was not published, was in response to the Sun's promotional news release that masqueraded as a reasoned commentary about the carriage industry. In addition to calling the assertion untrue, Mr. Sayres commented that the laws protecting the horses are often not enforced. Enforcement is a multidisciplinary task, and a failure to do so has implicated various city agencies.

If you are implying that the ASPCA has failed the horses, it is not quite fair to have "the A" shoulder the blame when so many individuals and agencies are are fault--and the industry elevates political entrenchment to an art form. The ASPCA's decision in 2007 to support nothing short of a full ban is courageous and appropriate, because as Mr. Sayres has conceded, the industry status quo cannot go on without endangering the horses.