Friday, March 21, 2008

Why a Ban is Necessary? One Reason

Six months after the death of Smoothie, few answers and acute confusion
The investigation into the death in 2007 of Smoothie gives some troublesome insight into the state of affairs of the industry and its poor oversight. The first delay into the investigation, we were told in September, came because of uncertainty about which city agency had primary responsibility for doing so. “Because responsibility for this has been so fractured among city agencies,” said Geoffrey Cowley, a spokesman for the health department, “it hasn’t been absolutely clear whose jurisdiction it really fell into.” Read more

Smoothie's death came days after the city comptroller's office issued a highly critical audit that outlined lapses in the quality of care of the horses. Not enough water, infrequent veterinary care, poor record-keeping. "The agencies entrusted with oversight here have dropped the ball," comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., said after the audit was released (pried out of the city's hands, more like it).

Why is it, for example, that the paperwork for 57 carriage horses described different animals from year to year, although the license numbers did not change? It raises disturbing questions about the motivation. Double shifts, perhaps?

Read a published account of the audit's findings
Read the audit

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