Letters & Editorials 

May 2-8, 2008

Speaker Short Changes Animals - To The Editor: The investigation into Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office concerning slush funds and bogus organizations continues. Time will tell how much she knew and when she knew it. But now seems like a good time to let New Yorkers know her position on issues affecting animals, whether dogs, cats, carriage horses or elephants. Since 2004, Speaker Quinn has consistently received a score of zero on the League of Humane Voters' scorecard, which rates New York City councilmembers on their positions concerning animal-welfare bills before the City Council. Quinn has not supported any of these bills, nor has she allowed any of them to reach the floor for a vote. The bills include allowing pets in housing, even though more than 30,000 animals are killed at city shelters annually; protecting animals in circuses and rodeos; requiring sprinklers in pet shops, shelters and stables; requiring New York City schools to comply with a humane-education mandate; banning foie gras (liver from force-fed ducks) in restaurants; and Councilmember Tony Avella's legislation banning the cruel carriage horse industry. Because of Quinn's opposition, most councilmembers will not co-sponsor Intro 658, the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. Many believe that to support it would be political suicide. So the bill flounders, as do all the other bills concerning animal welfare. A recent article in the Harvard Crimson entitled "Compassionate Campaigners" discussed how people who care about animal issues have become a powerful new constituency against animal abuse. The Crimson referred to this constituency as "news savvy, socially integrated and politically active." While not card-carrying animal rights activists, they care about animals and see a candidate's attitude toward animals as a broader reflection of his or her compassion and character. They are the silent majority of mainstream compassionate voters. Legislators would do well to pay attention to this trend.

Elizabeth Forel  
Forel is a member, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007