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BLINDERS, the documentary film about the plight of the NYC carriage horses and the movement to ban them, is now available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
The recipient of a Genesis Award for best TV documentary, BLINDERS aired on the Documentary Channel and won best documentary at the International Wildlife Film Festival. At the NYC premiere, Alec Baldwin had this to say about BLINDERS and horse-drawn carriages in NYC.
Due to the persistence of activists in New York and other cities with horse-drawn carriages, the plight of urban carriage horses has received widespread media attention around the world. In NYC, it has become a flashpoint in the 2013 race for Mayor, as reported in the cover story in the NY Times.
If you live in an urban area with horse-drawn carriages or oppose the use of animals in entertainment, you can help spread the word by doing the following:
1. Watch BLINDERS and educate your friends
2. Encourage your friends to watch BLINDERS
3. Use the information to assist in your local advocacy efforts
September 6th, 2011 · 7 Comments
Over the years, I have witnessed NYC’s carriage drivers working their horses in extreme weather conditions – from heat waves to thunderstorms to blizzards – even though the law states that carriage drivers “shall not allow a horse to be worked in snow, ice, heavy rain or other slippery conditions.” Recently, I saw the drivers working during the city shutdown in the rainy hours leading up to the arrival Hurricane Irene. (see story below)
During inclement weather, dozens of New Yorkers, if not more, call the ASPCA and ask them to take the horses out of harm’s way. We’ve learned from experience that, without these calls, the ASPCA will typically allow the carriage drivers to continue working. Is the ASPCA bending over backwards to accommodate the carriage drivers, or is it gross incompetence?
Given the ASPCA’s willingness to allow the carriage drivers to work in adverse conditions and their unwillingness to use their considerable power and influence to take these horses off the streets of NYC, I can’t help but wonder whose side the ASPCA is really on. Seeing an ASPCA humane law enforcement officer “high five” a carriage driver during a blizzard only reinforced this concern — as did Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that the “ASPCA has convinced me that these animals are treated humanely.”
After years of defending their decisions to allow the carriage drivers to work in adverse weather conditions, the ASPCA has finally admitted to a lapse in judgment around Hurricane Irene: “In retrospect we feel we should have imposed the suspension earlier on Saturday to better ensure the safety of the horses.” (see full statement below) However, the ASPCA is simultaneously shifting the blame to the city: “The city has abandoned its responsibility to monitor the carriage horse industry, and so the ASPCA has stepped in to do our best to protect these beautiful animals.” This comment is utterly disingenuous. The ASPCA has not “stepped in.” On the contrary, they have fought tooth and nail to protect their role as enforcers of humane law.
But why does the ASPCA fight to preserve their humane law enforcement power when they readily acknowledge that they can’t do the job? If the ASPCA put the same amount of energy into banning horse-drawn carriages in NYC as they have into preserving their enforcement powers, then the horses would have probably been taken off the streets many years ago. [Read more →]