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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

They Ignore Horses’ Suffering, Don’t They?

Written by PETA | February 17, 2009
gothamist / CC
Horse drawn carriage

The good folks at the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (CBHDC) teamed up with PETA members to hold a protest outside New York City’s Central Park on Valentine’s Day. They witnessed several disturbing incidents that illustrate a culture of inaction by ASPCA officers charged with monitoring the carriage industry and enforcing regulations. Read and weep:

CBHDC President Elizabeth Forel reports that one of the roads coming out of the park had a large pothole and that the drivers repeatedly drove their carriages over it. Elizabeth believes that ASPCA officers were within their power to bar the carriages from using the road, but, after numerous complaints, the only action that was taken was to put an orange traffic cone in the pothole.

Carriage drivers were so busy hurling abuse at the protesters and trying to videotape them that they came perilously close to becoming involved in serious accidents. According to witnesses, one driver drove his horse right into the traffic cone, which nearly caused the frightened animal to bolt. Shockingly, when protesters brought this incident to the attention of an ASPCA officer, he blamed the horse and refused to cite the driver.

Another driver was talking on his cell phone and almost ran into the cone. At the last minute, one of the ASPCA officers touched the horse’s face in an attempt to divert him from the pothole (the horses wear blinders and can only see what’s directly in front of them). This startled the horse, who veered sharply into the path of a car, which some witnesses believe may have struck the animal.

A veterinarian who attended the protest reported seeing areas on horses’ skin rubbed raw by their harnesses. One lame horse mysteriously “disappeared” after protesters brought the matter to officers’ attention.

Drivers repeatedly—one might even say routinely—ran red lights, but, again, the ASPCA officers did nothing. In fact, Elizabeth reports that the officers seemed more concerned with whether or not she had a permit for her protest (she didn’t need one and they knew it) than they were with doing their jobs.

“The drivers do not take the ASPCA officers seriously,” says Elizabeth. “If they did, they would show more respect for the law and would do as told. … They act with impunity—like they know they will not get a ticket no matter what.”

Please click here to read more about the cruelty of the horse-drawn carriage industry and what you can do to help.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • The Green Ghost says:

    Fail this, Fail that. Michelle cannot realize that ASPCA loves all animals. Besides, you dont have to agree with PETA to love animals.

  • David GV says:

    Do any of you make a living from animals? Even indirectly? Let’s talk about it. Happy medium? Not abuse just use… DGV

  • JulieAnn Zserdin says:

    It goes to show poeple are more concerned with thier greed than with compassion for animals. even animals that are thier livihood. instead of caring for thier horses they were to busy being jerks and trying to make a lousey buck. Vote for the new Mayor when election comes up. Get rid of these jerk that is in office now.

  • Kelly says:

    Excelleny work PETA! ASPCA hates animals. They love IAMS and horse carriages!It’s disgusting! They should be ashamed!

  • liz says:

    Thats the cruelest thing i’ve ever heard of. I hate the ASPCA.they don’t care about any animals. the ASPCA needs to have a heart and see that animals need love and they also only have one life. there for let them live it the way they would like to live it…. in a natural habbitat and be happy

  • Meech! says:

    “Ride your girlfriend or boyfriend leave the horses alone.” Amen Simara!!! Unfortunately arguing with those bullheaded carriage drivers is like spitting in a river. If they’re doing what they’re doing chances are they couldn’t give a shit about the cause. I just wish that without too much more suffering it could be universally proven cruel to keep horses in an atmosphere like that. Hell I can’t even stand breathing in the stench when I visit that city… makes me sick to even remember…

  • George H Zinn says:

    I have always been against the use of horse carriages in cities. I have complained to my city council about my concerns. It is not a natural environment for a horse and I think that they often get mistreated and neglected overworked and stressed. The horse is in constant contact with idling car fumes which cannot be healthy for the animal. I have heard stories that they are sedated by their owners to be docile and calm but all animal behavior can be unpredictable. If something was to spook the horse such as a firecracker car backfire or an unusual movement the horse could buck or run and put the passengers in danger. Please stop this inhumane exploitation of these beautiful horses for profit by refusing to patronize city carriages!!!

  • Michelle says:

    Thats the cruelest thing i’ve ever heard of. I hate the ASPCA.they don’t care about all animalsjust pets.

  • Abby says:

    I was once in New York a few years ago around Christmas time. I was probably around eleven. I was with a fellow horse lover and rider and her family so we obviously stopped to see the horses. I was unaware of the horror of horse drawn carriages but I knew when I saw an animal in distress or pain. I remember standing in front of this big grey who was attempting to get water from the bottom of a cement trough. It was freezing out and the water was at the very bottom but I took off my gloves and tried to scoop some water into my hand for him. His driver an elderly man saw what I was doing and came over loosened the harness’s reins and let his horse drink. If only all drivers were as kind to their animals as that man. Do you need a permit to hold a protest like this? I’m a big animal lover and a passionate horse lover I have my own horse Marko who is my life so I’d like to help.

  • Lauren says:

    What a disgrace. Weel done PETA for yoru continued efforts to highlight this abuse. Samantha I’m Irish also and was disgusted by his comments highlighting his sheer level of ignorance. We also have our own problems with horse drawn carriages here also driven by complete thugs who shouldn’t have any animals in their care.

  • simara says:

    it is nice to see PETA speaking up for horses I know I am one of few with what I am about to say but I have always seen a horse wearing a harness and immediately equated it to human slavery.Has anyone else ever pulled back on the corners of their mouth and felt how even the slightest pressure is incredibly painful?well that and worse is what a horse feels with reins..even if you love your horse telling another living creature go hear faster walk!stop!this is stealing their natural right of freedom.Horses who are used in horse shows are being exploited and forced to perform horses in races petting zoos and circus’s are being forced to perform as well and often abused.We as humans have a choice to perform horses do not.I am against riding horses even under the best circumstances.Ride your girlfriend or boyfriend leave the horses alone.

  • kelly says:

    The carriage drivers ARE a bunch of thugs and a bunch of tax cheats too This is a dirty business and the government needs to land on them

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    Samantha You shouldn’t be ashamed to be who you are because of one jagoff. P One jagoff does not define a whole nation of people.

  • roxanne says:

    We need to work with the ASPCA and not attack them. the carriage industry wants to divide us. unite we will save these horses from the cruelty in NYC

  • Ilikeaspca says:

    First of all the drivers don’t take anyone seriously. you have on youtube videos of the drivers harassing pedicab drivers activists etc. these drivers are thugs and the ASPCA can only do as much as per regulations. NYC comptroller thompson stated the existing laws are over 25 years old and are too broad in scope to ensure the welfare of the horses. attack the drivers and not the aspca. in fact the drivers want to remove the aspca from oversight and then this industry will be selfregulated. the aspca does the best it can. plese see this action alert and contact your council members not to support intro 653 that will make the industry selfregulated and put the horses in dire danger httpssecure2.convio.netaspcasiteAdvocacy?id2476pagenamehomepageJServSessionIdr006xf75zz8fz2.app26b4

  • mary says:

    when i visited new york they had carriages running throughout the city. the bit in the horse’s mouth actually wears away flesh along the jaw and can actually erode down to the bone with prolonged useage. its the same with lip piercings in people i know cause i have one. it rubs against the area so much it can destroy the bone and cause permanent damage. and if its a horse that means it would most likely be put down.

  • urmil dhanda says:

    How can they make money by abusing horses? How can they sleep at nite?

  • Kelley says:

    What’s that they say “If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem?” The ASPCA needs to find its backbone and DO ITS JOB!

  • kelly says:

    So is the problem that the ASPCA is actually making money off these horses and so supporting this dirty industry?

  • Samantha says:

    Are you reading this piece Liam Neeson? You make me ashamed to be Irish.