Sunday, August 1, 2010

A gruesome far

Today brings news of a serious carriage horse spooking accident in Eureka, California, which is north of San Francisco. The horse bolted after being spooked by skateboarders, according to a report in The (Humboldt County) Journal. The carriage driver suffered head injuries and was hospitalized. No word on his condition. The horse, Cinnamon, is said to have suffered leg injuries though able to walk. After being startled by the sound of skateboards, she took off galloping and crashed into a parked car, dragging the carriage with her. The carriage finally was stopped by a wood pillar. The carriage driver was pulled into the street.

This comes just weeks after horses spooked during a July Fourth parade in Bellevue, Iowa, a tragic turn that killed a 61-year-old woman (the carriage driver's wife) and injured 24 others, mostly young children. One of the two horses who spooked was killed.

Cities and towns that put horses into traffic are putting the public safety at risk, since surveys have shown consistently that humans are almost always injured in carriage horse-spooking accidents.

In the US and around the world, the list of recent accidents is, well, too long to list. Among some recent serious accidents are those in York, England; Atlanta, Georgia; suburban London (Windsor Estate) and Mesa Fire, Ariz. Not surprisingly, there are also vehicle-versus-carriage crashes, like these in Philadelphia (5 people, 5 horses hurt) and Anchorage, Alaska. As you can imagine, vehicles have the safety advantage.

Is this a new phenomenon? Not! Here is a sampling that a commenter posted in Iowa. Oh, and here is list from "spookedhorses" blog of carriage and buggy crashes, many from 2009.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bloomberg hates animals. Got it?

On another note, the city of NYC continues its slaughter of Canada geese; when people found out about Bloomberg's latest stupid assault, they were disgusted. He tried to make bad guys out of the US Department of Agriculture, but those who did the exceptionally inhumane gassing were merely doing Bloomberg's bidding. Here is one comment:

OMG.. that is so cruel. I am a Park Manager from another city. Believe me, if I try anything even close to what you have done I would be applying for a new job. These are living creatures… if you dont want them around relocate them or introduce a population control plan (i.e. remove the eggs from the nests and dispose of them)… Dont you have animal cruelty laws in NYC… OMG
— Leo (#755)

I will NEVER visit NYC while banal decisions like this are allowed to transpire… The city and it’s citizens exist in a democracy, which through action or inaction manifests collective will or lack there of. The people who make the decisions in NYC are clearly not intelligent. As many of the individuals in the 30 pages of comments have illustrated, there are far more humane and even creative ways of dealing with what contextually is a fairly simple problem. Yes, all cities exist with problems and poor decisions, but the act of taking life needlessly represents a myriad of problems that likely outweighs any desire for rational and compassionate solution. F.D. Roosevelt was simply wrong; Man has nothing to fear but LAZINESS. Try harder.--Nigel (#742)

The geese have obviously progressed over the years, in the sense they thrive despite all our attempts to harass, shoot, gas and “exterminate” (another term from WW2) them.
But, what does all this say about our own species?
A species apparently incapable of building a plane able to withstand collision with an 8 lb bird. — PattyA (#709)

Re: Bloomberg, geese-gassing: Yes, he ordered it. People need to keep this in mind. Do you think this would have happened otherwise?
Remember, most of you people who are commenting here did NOT vote last year–you welcomed Bloomberg back for a third term, despite two referenda in which the voters rejected extension of term limits. Around 90% of registered voters did not even bother. For this, we were rewarded with more Bloomberg, more killing of wildlife.— Delaney (#730)

The mayor of New York City has no regard for non-human life. Carriage horses, pigeons, raccoons, Canada geese--he despises them all.

If you hurry, you may be able to add your own comments (as of Saturday, July 17, comments were still being accepted--and hundreds of disgusted New Yorkers are weighing in).

WHY did NYC approve this slaughter? Good question. The Washington Square Park blogger tackles this one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stay active!

Another accident, media take notice
Predictably, the rate of accidents involving horse-drawn carriages in New York City is increasing. The drivers are displaying more recklessness and arrogance than ever before, now that the Tweeders in city government have rewarded this corrupt, cash-only industry. Already this month, we know of two crashes near the park (on May 1, and on May 10).

Gothamist covered these accidents--but only after the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Friends of Animals sent details and photographs of the crashes. It was only after the stories were published online by Gothamist that the ASPCA finally acknowledged the accidents, and reiterated the dangerous of mixing cars and horses on city streets. It's too bad that ASPCA has remained silent on this issue during the last few years, apparently because of its corporate stance not to make waves (that would hurt its fund-raising?) So, for now, the horses will continue to suffer.

The Gothamist news coverage reaches a large audience in NYC and beyond. It would not have happened without the efforts of activists. Let's keep the momentum going and watch as the story unfolds online. It is a global story. Indeed, Laura Eldridge got it right in her blog on Huffington Post.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm back, things are worse than ever

Be the horses' eyes and ears
The mistreatment of New York City carriage horses is getting worse by the minute, now that the drivers and owners are being rewarded for fraudulent and reckless behavior. At least two carriage accidents have happened in the 2 weeks or so since the diminutive mayor bloomberg signed into law the crappy industry bill. No surprise that it was pushed through by the corrupt Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

No media coverage of the crashes, and no word on the condition of the horses. The useless ASPCA, once again, does nothing. It could have done a lot to end this dangerous and inhumane industry, but instead it did ... NOTHING.

The pics tell the story. Thanks for the photographic evidence. Keep it coming.

Top photo: Hell's Kitchen correspondent, May 13, 2010, at Shamrock Stables in NYC;
Bottom 2 photos: NYC tourist, May 1, 2010, at Columbus Circle, after a horse-spooking accident.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hugs & kisses? Or near-misses?

From the "What Were They Thinking Department"
This bad idea never have made it past the brainstorming session: Nivea plastered its ho-hum branding all over the New York City carriage horses on February 14, 2010. That's right, the horses were parading around with a ridiculous branded message across their backsides. Talk about product placement. How embarrassing. (Nivea isn't playing in the same arena as the bigger brands; otherwise, this gaffe would be up there with "New Coke" as a marketing debacle for the ages.)
"Share the hugs & kisses," tourists were exhorted as part of this branding flop. That's right, as the aroma of fresh manure wafted all around, fine ladies and gents clambered into the bedazzled carriages for a ride.
What can we expect next? Burger King branding? Big Mac coupons?
ACTION ALERT! This is too easy! Please contact Nivea (owned by Beiersdorf) and tell the company that you will not buy its products anymore. Let the company know the facts about New York City's carriage industry. Nivea got this wrong: It is a heartless industry. This is not about "sharing the love," but rather sharing the misery.

Leslie Kickham, 203-563-5821

Christina Stejskal, 212-582-1111

Ms. Kickham and Ms. Stejskal are in public relations for Nivea.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't make a date with cruelty

Say "no" to a carriage ride
Not a drop of water for the horses on January 27, when this picture was taken at Central Park. This is in blatant violation of the law. The Department of Health is completely unable, and apparently unwilling, to enforce the laws requiring the industry to provide an adequate amount of potable water for the carriage horses.The spigots to these troughs are turned off for half the year, and the drivers claim they carry water in buckets. That would be a neat trick, since the horses need a minimum of 10 to 12 gallons of water a day in cold weather.
Photo by Donny Moss (January 27, 2010, Central Park)
Related post on Carriage Horses -- NYC blog

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

None so blind

Take a look. You don't have to own horses or be a veterinarian to see that this is a problem, which is the gist of a comment on a YouTube video that shows New York City carriage horses. One commenter wrote: "Oh my god.. look at the bits in the horses mouth those are probably killing their mouths, they should use lighter bits." Indeed.
Video by YouTube member "PitytheHorses"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Philadelphia, set them free!

It seems like "deju vu" seeing the video from a recent peaceful demonstration in Philadelphia. The miserable icy weather, the horses standing in the chill for hours, the driver enjoying a smoke inside the carriage while the horses get soaked with a freezing rain. Looks like New York City, to be sure. The Philadelphia activists and others around the world joined forces and staged peaceful demonstrations on December 5, a day of action sponsored by Horses Without Carriages International, the global initiative that seeks to ban the use of horse-drawn carriages. Learn more at HWCI.
The Philadelphia demonstration was staged by Pennsylvania Chapter of Friends of Animals.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A rising tide of protests against BLM

A first look at Sunday's protest in New York City against the Calico roundup of America's wild horses and burros...

Friday, January 15, 2010

This kind of help horses don't need

NYC protest Sunday, Jan. 17!
The courageous and self-possessed stallion who has been dubbed "Freedom" is now known around the world. He fought for and won the freedom that is his by law but under attack by the fiscally mismanaged Bureau of Land Management.

Thus, the BLM's unlawful and inhumane roundups of America's wild horses continue, and with tragic consequences. In addition to the deaths of foals and other horses during the roundup by helicopter, there are now approximately 32,000 horses in "holding pens." No shelter, no ground cover, no room to run freely. A how-to primer on cruelty. This video shows how lifeless the wild horses look after being confined in this miserable setting. And don't miss this updated and comprehensive humane observers' account (January 10, 2010) of Freedom's heartbreaking and glorious escape. Mares from his band tried to follow but could not make it. Heartbreaking. As the Cloud Foundation notes in its letter asking President Obama for a moratorium on these roundups, the government is already stockpiling more than 33,000 wild horses in government holding facilities at a cost to taxpayers of $100,000 a day. Make your voice heard--send a letter to President Obama asking for an immediate halt to the roundups, and demand an investigation of the mismanagement at the BLM. Let your lawmakers in Washington know of your unwavering support for an immediate halt on the roundups and hearings on the waste and mismanagement at the BLM. Visit the website of The Cloud Foundation for more information and action alerts.
New York City Action Alert! If you live in or near New York City, stand up for America's wild horses and burros on Sunday, January 17, 2010! Take part in a regional demonstration against the Calico roundups. The demo is from 1 pm to 3 pm at Columbus Circle in Manhattan (near the southwest edge of Central Park). Bring signs and plenty of passion! More information on this and other demos here.
From the archives of The Cloud Foundation: "The Roundup of the McCollough Peaks Wild Horse Herd"
WATCH "Disappointment Valley"