NYC pol wants animal cruelty probe after carriage horse collapse

Queens City Councilman Robert Holden on Friday called on the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate possible carriage horse atrocities across the city — just days after another animal collapsed on a busy Manhattan street .

“Horses that are easily startled, collapse on the road, and even die suddenly are not normal behavior,” Holden said in a letter to prosecutors.

“I suspect there is a systematic problem with how these horses are treated. Only an investigation by your department will reveal the truth.”

His push to have Manhattan’s top attorney general and the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad investigate the carriage horse industry comes after a 14-year-old horse named Ryder collapsed on a street in Hell’s Kitchen on Wednesday.

The horse was filmed lying on the tarmac when its driver rammed the animal and yelled for the animal to “get up.”

“We only know about these incidents because they happened in public in front of big people
Masses who could record the events,” Holden said in his letter to Bragg.

“After every tragedy, the carriage industry tries to explain away the horse’s illness as a natural occurrence.”

This comes amid an increased push to remove carriage horses from NYC streets.
A horse accidentally collapsed in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Bragg’s office did not immediately respond with a message.

Holden, who is pushing a bill to end horse-drawn carriages in the Big Apple, on Thursday asked New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan to examine Ryder’s health — and release his medical records to rule out whether the animal was allegedly abused.

After Ryder’s collapse, a stable master and the Transport Workers’ Uniondepicting the wagon drivers, both said a veterinarian believed the horse likely had a neurological condition known as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.

Christina Hansen, a carriage driver who works at the stables, told the Post on Friday that the horse was already on the mend and was doing “fine.”

Holden wrote a letter to Bragg to investigate the animal abuse in the situation.
Holden is pushing for a bill to get rid of horse-drawn carriages citywide.
Helayne Seidman

She added that they were waiting for final blood work to confirm the EPM diagnosis.

But Holden, a Democrat, pointed to pictures and video of the horse showing its prominent ribs.

“The horse, Ryder, appears to be malnourished while the driver appears unconcerned that his horse may die right before his eyes,” he wrote to the commissioner, citing footage of the driver ordering the horse to get back up .

Queens Police added that an investigation was warranted given the “widespread attention” the recent incident has attracted.

The horse collapsed on 9th Avenue and West 45th Street in Hell's Kitchen.
In the video, the horse’s driver can be heard yelling at it to get up.

He also called on the health department to inspect the stables scattered around Midtown where the carriage horses are kept.

Holden’s bill, presented last month, aims to replace horse-drawn carriages with electric ones instead. If passed, the new measure would give drivers preferences for an electric haulage license and also require them to pay union wages. NYC pol wants animal cruelty probe after carriage horse collapse


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