Senator Avella and ALDF to Announce Lawsuit Against NYPDPosted on December 11, 2013
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
NEW YORK — Senator Tony Avella joined the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) at a press conference today announcing that ALDF has filed a petition with the New York Supreme Court asking the court to force the New York Police Department (NYPD) to turn over enforcement records regarding the city’s horse-drawn carriage industry.
Despite NYPD’s duty to oversee the health and safety of carriage horses, passengers, and passersby, NYPD has insisted that, after conducting a “diligent search,” it could find “no records” of its own enforcement. The City’s Department of Health has indicated NYPD does have these enforcement records. ALDF’s petition contends that the carriage industry suffers from gross under-regulation. ALDF has evidence of a pattern and practice of industry violations—including disregard for regulations designed to protect horse welfare and safety.
Avella was the leading advocate for animal rights during his time on the City Council and continues in that position now as a State Senator. He is a long time advocate for banning the operation of horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and has introduced legislation (S.667) in the State Senate that would prohibit the operation of horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and mandate the humane relocation of the horses released from service.
Avella stated, “I applaud the Animal Legal Defense Fund for initiating this lawsuit that will hopefully bring some much needed transparency to this industry. Ultimately though, enough is enough. How many more accidents, injuries and deaths is it going to take before we end this inhumane industry? It is absolutely clear that the time has come to ban horse-drawn cabs in the city of New York as horses are easily excited by everyday occurrences in city life We can no longer justify the risk of serious injury or death to these animals or to the public at large.”
“New York’s carriage horses work up to nine hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, in traffic conditions that jeopardize their safety and the safety of passersby. When not shackled to the carriages they pull, the horses are kept in tiny stalls, rarely released to pasture, and are unable to experience normal movements during the course of their lives,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “For the sake of these great animals, and the safety of New Yorkers, we hope Mayor de Blasio will ban this unregulated, inhumane, and dangerous industry as promised.”
“I am encouraged that Mayor-elect de Blasio has pledged to ban this cruel industry once and for all and urge him to stick to his promise once he assumes office,” concluded Avella.