News & Announcements
CARRIAGE INDUSTRY BILL INTRODUCED MUST BE OPPOSED
Intro 35 was introduced into the City Council this month by Council Member James Gennaro. Click here for the text. It is in the Consumer Affairs Committee. The main purpose of this bill is to give the drivers a rate increase -- nothing more. However, because the industry knows a straight increase without any givebacks might not be palatable, they have added some concessions. The only problem here is that they are not substantive. They are window dressing! They are designed to deceive the gullible.
Please contact your City Council Member to oppose this bill. Click here for contact information.
Snail mail is best and should be sent to the District Office. Mail to the Legislative office may take longer and some of these offices are not staffed. Faxes are OK but e-mails are discouraged. E-mails to the council offices at the official address listed may bounce, be deleted or otherwise may not get into the right hand. Instead, it is suggested that you call the office of your Council Member and ask for the e-mail address of the Legislative person.
If you want to take a chance on sending an e-mail to the City Council body -- as some will read it -- these are the addresses below - copy and paste them into an e-mail. It is suggested that you send four separate e-mails instead of grouping all the Council names in one e-mail
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ignizio@council.nyc.ny.us, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Koslowitz@council.nyc.gov, Chin@council.nyc.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMPLE LETTER - change as you see fit.
Dear Council Member _________ :
We ask that you oppose Intro 35, the carriage industry bill introduced by Council Member James Gennaro, for the reasons listed below. Its main purpose is to give the carriage industry a rate increase, which we believe is not deserved, particularly since so many people oppose this industry – something that has been made very clear in the last four years after the death of Spotty, a five year old carriage horse who spooked at Ninth Avenue and 50th St. and crashed into a station wagon. The “give-backs” are just window dressing and are not substantive changes. We ask that instead you back Intro 92 the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages along with Intro 86, the bill to create a new industry of green vintage electric cars.. With the Department of Health’s recent proposals, which were shown to be inadequate, and now this bill, it is becoming more clear to all that this industry is not able to operate humanely in Manhattan and should be shut down.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Horse Health Assurance Program (“NYSHHAP”) is a certification program designed to promote equine health, care, and welfare through the use of certain “best management practices” or standards.
STALL SIZE: The stall size recommended is less than half that of the NYSHHAP Guidelines, which require that stalls be 12 feet by 12 feet for mid-sized horses and 14 feet by 14 feet for draft horses and large warm bloods. Horses must be allowed to lie down comfortably and stretch out with their legs fully extended. To provide less than this is inhumane.
FURLOUGH OR VACATION – Five weeks “vacation” or 35 days a year is not a substitute for the more critical need, from a physical and psychological/behavioral stand point, for daily turnout or pasture time, recommended by experts – the other 330 days. There is no way that NYC’s stables can provide this for the horses to both relax physically and interact with one another, as social herd animals need to do. Horses are not machines. They need time to run, buck, roll and play, to scratch themselves, stretch and engage in mutual grooming. To provide less than this is inhumane.
These horses live an existence that is survivable, but not humane.
RATES: The bill asks for a rate increase of $50 for a 20 minute ride and represents a 221% increase over the current rate of $34 for 30 minutes. It also asks that the rates be indexed for inflation every three years, which suggests a social welfare program for the drivers – something that no other private industry gets. Besides, the industry has already given themselves a raise by cheating on the street where they charge what the market will bear – and through their commercial web site companies. The city should not be rewarding fraud and cheating – suggesting that it is OK to cheat and get away with it because the drivers have not had an increase in a while. Instead the industry should be fined for overcharging and those who do it should lose their license. Please see the recent NY Post article, which describes this cheating http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/taken_for_ride_TtM1wU97tnbyWZt4sCXBgO
Also refer to http://www.gothamcarriages.com/ as one example of a private company overcharging.
WATER: Water troughs in Central Park are shut off for half the year because of the cold weather. Potable water should be supplied year round for the horses and it is shocking that it never was until horse advocates called attention to it. The original version of Intro 35 called for the City of NY to pay for the new piping to make the water available year round. There was a lot of criticism about this because the City does not have the money to take this on. The carriage industry should pay for it.
The sponsors of the bill have removed this requirement. They would prefer to deprive the horses of water rather than to require that the industry pick up the tab. The horses will continue not to have water available to them for six months in Central Park and every place else in the city, such as Times Square, in the evening hours.
This is another reason why this industry should be shut down because it is not able to function humanely.
HUMIDITY AND WIND CHILL : carriage horses are not allowed to work when the temperature reaches 90 degrees in the warm weather and 18 degrees in the winter. However, humidity and the wind chill factor is not considered -- this would have been a substantive change. Particularly in the summer, horses suffer from the heat and humidity. This is yet another example of how the industry is just about money -- asking for more but not giving much back.
JOBS: We recognize that jobs are an important factor in this debate. Intro 86 will create a new green industry consisting of vintage electric touring cars to take the place of horse-drawn carriages. The jobs created by this industry will be union and provide benefits. Development of the far west side is inevitable since real estate in Manhattan is so valuable. Called Hudson Yards, this project will take over the land where some of the stables are located. Please be forward thinking. This new car industry will happen with or without the carriage industry's participation. Do not deprive the carriage drivers the opportunity for good jobs.
Let's move New York City into the 21st century.
Thank you for your time. Please let me know your decision.
[your contact information]
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