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ASPCA refuses to attend press conference announcing bill to ban horse-drawn carriages

December 13th, 2007 · No Comments


Press conference on bill to ban horse-drawn carriages

DECEMBER 13, 2007

Mr. Ed Sayres
424 E. 92nd St
New York, NY 10128-6804

Dear Mr. Sayres:

Your silence is deafening at a time when your voice could save countless animals and change history.

Last Saturday, the ASPCA posted a press release on its website in support of Tony Avella’s bill to ban horse-drawn carriages.  Here’s what didn’t happen next:

  1. The A didn’t send the release to reporters, as evidenced by the fact that not one story included the A’s news.    The media coverage would have been far more positive had THE authority on this issue spoken up.  The unfavorable coverage resulting from the A’s silence has hurt the cause.
  2. The A didn’t show up at the press conference, where CBS, NBC and ABC reporters would have gladly interviewed you or another spokesperson.
  3. The A has not stepped into the media firestorm in any capacity, which has enabled the carriage PR machine to vilify Avella and call the rest of us “extremists.”

The emails you have sent to animal advocates over the past few days have a defeatist tone, yet you haven’t even stepped into the ring to fight.  You are sending a very clear message that the A caved into pressure to support this bill, but that you have no intention of working for a ban.  Am I missing something here?  If so, it is only because the A has been so painfully quiet during this critical time following the intro of Avella’s bill.

We cannot wait for the next administration to go for a ban, as you have implied.  Two years of hard work went into getting this bill introduced, and the issue is on everyone’s radar screen.  As the leading animal advocacy organization in NYC and enforcers of humane law, the ASPCA, not the Coalition to Ban H-D Carriages, should have been the force behind this bill, and the A should now be doing the work to get it passed.  To that end, why not take the following steps now to generate public and political support for this bill?

  1. Hold a press conference announcing your position and asking Quinn and Bloomberg to show leadership by coming out in support of a ban.
  2. Send an action alert to A members asking them to send letters to their council member, Quinn and Bloomberg.
  3. Call an urgent meeting with Bloomberg and Quinn’s offices to educate them and their staffs.  (Quinn told me that she did not know that the A has asked for a ban).
  4. Tell the DOH and the Mayor’s office that you will pull the HLE officer off of CPS because the A can no longer enforce humane law for an inhumane practice.
  5. Call a meeting with the editorial staff of the NY Times to ask them to reconsider their position that a ban is too drastic.
  6. Conduct proactive media relations.  Any media outlet would gladly interview you to discuss why the A believes this “NY institution” must be banned.
  7. Lobby city council members. Several have told me that they cannot support a ban because the ASPCA has not asked for it.

On a final note, while all of the major animal advocacy organizations support this bill, only the ASPCA is in the unique position to take a leadership role and tip the scale in favor of a ban.  If the A doesn’t get exert its muscle right now, then we will assuredly lose this battle and have to start from scratch in 2010 with an administration that will certainly have other priorities.   Please seize the moment and use your power and influence to generate support for this bill and bring an end to horse-drawn carriages in NYC once and for all.

Many of us are here to help.


Donny Moss

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