The horse that collapsed near Central Park Photo: NYCLASS
By Elizabeth Forel, President of Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages
Another New York City carriage horse collapsed on Feb. 21, but it did not come to the attention of the public until almost one week later. Carriage drivers are not required to report accidents.
The horse’s owner claims that Max, the horse, was wearing new shoes and tripped — but eyewitnesses said the horse was breathing heavily before he collapsed. An industry vet examined Max, but too much time has passed to do an independent investigation.
Horses do not trip on pavement “all the time,” as claimed by the owner. And even if this were true, then this is more reason not to have horses working the pavement of New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made a campaign promise to end the inhumane horse carriage trade but allowed himself to be overpowered and bullied by the Teamsters and other unions who sought to align themselves with this failing business to show the nation that unions were still viable. They threatened to withdraw support from the mayor and it worked. Now we cannot even get the administration to enforce the street laws governing this business.
The term “fake news” had its beginnings with the local media about this business — talking outright lies about good union jobs, extensive oversight of city agencies, the bogus desire for the stable land; the minuscule number of horses who have died in the business; first-class stalls and stables; highly exaggerated financial contribution to the economy; safety a nonissue.
The fake news worked. If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as truth.
As it stands now, the administration is not transparent on this issue and will not even deal with those of us who criticize them. Sound familiar to what is happening in Washington, D.C.?
Our recourse? Vote! Make your voice heard in November.