Thursday, February 24, 2011

Carriage Horse Drinks Filthy Fetid Water From Street (Video)

[UPDATED BELOW] In the ongoing saga between carriage horse proponents and opponents, an anonymous animal rights videographer who would not reveal his or her name because they do "a lot of undercover work" on behalf of Win Animal Rights has uploaded video to their YouTube channel, nyc4animals, showing a Central Park carriage horse drinking filthy and fetid "water" from the street. The video was filmed a few days ago at the hack line on 59th Street and 5th Avenue. When the driver spotted the videographer filming, he "pulled the horse away from the filthy water." According to the eyewitness, there was also an empty water trough nearby. The trough is supposed to contain clean water. "If you look inside of it on any given day," they wrote, "you will see it filled with garbage."

Though certainly qualifying as very gross, is it dangerous or harmful for the horse to be drinking "water" from the streets of New York City? You might be better off not drinking anything. Martin Mersereau, Director, Emergency Response Division at PETA told NYC The Blog in an email:
Dehydration can be deadly for horses and dirty water is a host for disease, so the health of the horse who is so thirsty that he’s guzzling from a fetid gutter is an obvious concern. Forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic and pound the pavement all day long with sore hooves and limited water breaks, suffering is the name of the game for horses used to pull carriages in New York.
nyc4animals was more direct: "We will not rest until every carriage horse is taken off of the streets of Manhattan and retired in a sanctuary."

UPDATE: A commenter named Della Girl takes issue with the characterization of the video, writing:
For all you who have commented here and have no clue what you are seeing (which appears to be all of you) - this horse is not drinking dirty water, but trying to pick up spilled grain. If you will notice towards the end of this video, the driver saw what the horse was doing and put his check rain back on to prevent him from putting his head all the way to the ground (which is what a check rein is for, BTW). I won't even go into some of the other comments against the industry - quite frankly I have no time for ignorant people.
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