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Letters & Editorials

Cold brutal to horses

AM New York - February 8, 2007

The brutally cold arctic wave that has hit the area has also affected New York City's carriage horses. The present law allows them to work when it is 18 degrees or above -- but there is no consideration for wind chill, which makes the temperature feel like single digits.

Yesterday at noon, it was 19 degrees, with a wind chill of 5. Who is monitoring whether the horses are out when it is colder than 18 degrees?

The other day the ASPCA had only four agents in the city attending to other animal emergencies. The first line of defense against cold weather is a horse's thick winter coat. But because of an unseasonably warm December and January, many horses were not able to grow this natural coat.

Snow and sleet causes their coats to get wet and compromises their ability to keep warm.

How many horses on the street wear protective blankets? This Charles Dickens industry has no place in modern-day New York City.

--Elizabeth Forel, Manhattan

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