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Letters & Editorials

Tradition of Cruelty

Sent to Hudson Reporter - NJ (not published)

To the editor:

In the July 30, 2006 article "Tradition or Cruelty" Conor McHuegh, manager of the Clinton Park Stables uses the age old circular rhetoric, ever popular with corporate interests defending their piggy banks, to profess the legitimacy of the Central Park carriage horse industry, not on its merits, but on compliance.

Compliance with what legal standard, is the question begging to be asked. McHuegh said, "In the stables I run, all the horses live in box stalls. We have never been issued a violation ... I feel the horses are better off there than anywhere else." McHuegh, in defending this industry on the basis of compliance, jumps the point and dismisses cruelty, on the basis of its legality.

Cruelty however is the very subject of the public's opposition to the practices of Clinton Park Stables, and that which we wish to change, legislatively. It is true that Conor McHuegh and Clinton Park Stables keep their horses in box stalls. It is also true that these box stalls or 'stables' are actually an old warehouse on the West Side of Manhattan. These horses are stuffed into that warehouse for the rest of their lives, never getting to run, chew grass, or even so much as walk around freely in an outdoor environment. Horses are not meant to live in a Midtown Manhattan warehouse. Horses are not meant to be in Midtown Manhattan traffic, breathing smog and having horns honked at them all day.

From the time these horses are bought, and brought into Manhattan, they are worked during the day, and locked up at night. This treatment, unbelievably, is legal, and it is it the very legality of it we are working to change. So, Mr. Conor McHuegh and Clinton Park Stables may be able to hide behind the law for now, and boast of their compliance with inhumane laws, but a critical mass of informed New Yorkers is building, and one day soon we will enact legislation in this city, ending this cruelty once and for all.

Grant Captanian


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