Saturday, April 11, 2009

The awful fate of carriage horses

Here we see a true horsewoman, Linda Marcus, speaking about her rescues, which include a former New York City carriage horse that was one day away from slaughter when she was saved. This testimony was part of a public hearing on two bills: one that would ban the horse-drawn industry, and another that would reward it and further erode oversight and accountability. Ms. Marcus supports a ban and opposes the industry bill, as do the ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, numerous animal advocacy organizations, and the Bar Association of the City of New York. This compelling testimony from the January 2009 hearing exposes the convenient services of faux rescue organizations that collaborate with industry to take its castoffs--and ultimately, to get rid of them. All within the loophole, I mean law, that requires "humane disposition" of New York City carriage horses.
These kinds of arrangements are being exposed with increasing frequency. Slaughter provides an easy way out to the ones who break down horses, overbreed them, or otherwise misuse them. Indeed, the horse industry at large has rewarded this behavior for years, paying people to make the horses disappear. Issues may or may not be resolved at legislative levels, but "outing" those who dump horses into the laps of kill buyers may ultimately be the most effective thing of all.
Related reading:
Recently we heard that thoroughbred owner Ernie Paragallo says he
lost track of his horses, and that some likely met a grim fate in Canada. Paragallo has since been charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals.

Another former NYC carriage horse, "Manhattan," rescued from a grim fate (from Carriage Horses-NYC blog)
And finally, All about farrier care--and owner responsibility

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