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Last week during New York City’s record heatwave, a carriage horse named Billy was found dead in his stall, according to the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
This is just the latest incident that highlights the dangers of this industry and how these animals are used and abused for entertainment. Although there is a law that horses must be removed from the streets when temperatures reach 90 degrees, it is not always upheld.
DOHMH reported that the 14-year-old Belgian draft horse died “apparently from colic” on July 20, when temperatures reached a high of 96 degrees in Manhattan, with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees by 11 AM.
“The fact that this horse likely died a long, painful death without receiving proper medical care is inexcusable. Like many carriage horses in New York City, Billy died as he lived – in extreme heat, under terrible conditions, isolated in a tiny stall, neglected and alone. Many questions remain, but one thing is clear: the city must initiate a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances of this horse’s death,” said Edita Birnkrant, NYCLASS Executive Director.
NYCLASS is calling for the NYPD to conduct a review through the animal cruelty unit as well as an independent veterinarian. They say that the following questions must be answered by an independent investigation.
- Given the extreme symptoms of colic, was the horse previously examined by a veterinarian?
- Colic is not followed by instant death. How could this horse have simply dropped dead from an agonizing condition without anyone detecting a problem?
- Why did heat suspensions only go into effect at 2 PM on the day of and before Billy’s death despite 90+ temperatures recorded hours earlier?
- What, if any, oversight measures are currently in place to ensure these rules are followed and enforced?
A new bipartisan bill will replace horse carriages with modern electric carriages. This will not only reduce horse deaths but make the streets safer for New Yorkers. The bill also requires owners to pay drivers a prevailing wage, as these drivers often receive few, if any, benefits or standard worker protections.
Source: Equine Advocates/Youtube
Animal rights activists and animal lovers have long attempted to ban the use of horses to transport tourists. The electric carriages would be low-speed vehicles that would be limited to three miles per hour in Central Park, according to the bill. Drivers would be able to work more, get better pay, and better benefits than they do now using live animals.
- NYC Introduces Bill to Replace Horse-Drawn Carriages with Electric Ones
- EXPOSED! NYC Horse-Drawn Carriages: The Worst Tourist Attraction in the Greatest City
- The Truth About Horse-Drawn Carriages in New York City
- Is this the End of Horse Carriages in NYC?
- Vegan Saudi Prince Is Helping Tourist Hotspot Transition From Horse-Drawn Carriages to Electric Cars
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