21 September 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Drummer Denies He Intentionally Spooked Horse That Died” (news article, Sept. 16):

As a New Yorker who cringes with disgust and shame every time I pass an overloaded horse-drawn carriage dragging tourists around the streets of this horribly congested city, I was shocked and appalled by yet another incident leading to the death of an innocent animal.

The recent report by the New York City comptroller points out the absolute failure of city agencies to protect these indentured slaves. Horse-drawn carriages in today’s congested cities are an absurd anachronism, as demonstrated by the frequent incidents of “spooked horses.”

For years, the public has had to endure tragic accidents, heat prostration, deaths and severe injuries to both people and horses. It’s time to put aside foolish romantic notions and reject the demands of a self-serving industry.

Thousands of New Yorkers and visitors have signed petitions demanding an end to the senseless tragedies and inhumane treatment of these gentle giants. Shame on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the City Council for ignoring the plight of these horses.

Zelda Penzel
New York, Sept. 16, 2007

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