NYCLASS ASKS CBS NEW YORK TO REMOVE PAGE PROMOTING HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES FROM ITS WEBSITE - NYCLASS

NYCLASS ASKS CBS NEW YORK TO REMOVE PAGE PROMOTING HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES FROM ITS WEBSITE

NEW YORK, NY - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) today urged CBS New York management to remove a page from its website that appears to promote the abusive and dangerous horse carriage industry in New York City.

 

29 February 2012
Letter Says Horse Carriage Endorsements Are ‘Out of Character’ for a Respected News Organization

NYCLASS ASKS CBS NEW YORK TO REMOVE PAGE PROMOTING HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES FROM ITS WEBSITE

Letter Says Horse Carriage Endorsements Are ‘Out of Character' for a Respected News Organization

NEW YORK, NY - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) today urged CBS New York management to remove a page from its website that appears to promote the abusive and dangerous horse carriage industry in New York City.

"The carriage horse industry forces its animals to work long hours in treacherous conditions," NYCLASS Executive Director Carly Marie Knudson said. "It is mind-boggling that CBS New York's website continues to promote carriage rides in light of the fact that its reporters have covered the controversies surrounding them. It is our hope that CBS New York will remove this page from its website."

A recent article on CBS New York's website encouraged readers to take a horse-drawn carriage ride in the city, offering details on how to pursue such an activity without pointing out the industry's history of abuse toward horses and the various accidents that have occurred recently - some of which have resulted in serious injury to passengers.

In a letter to CBS New York Senior Vice President David Friend, Knudson wrote, "I was disappointed to see that CBS New York is promoting horse-drawn carriages in New York City on its website and respectfully request that you remove the relevant content immediately." Knudson said CBS New York's decision to post this material was surprising considering its coverage of the controversies surrounding the industry.

Her letter went on to say that the "optics of posting material that appears to endorse the carriage industry obscures the important reporting you have done on this issue to date and could raise questions about the objectivity of future reporting on the horse-drawn carriage rides and the welfare of the horses. Fortunately, you can easily neutralize those questions by immediately removing the offending material from your website."

NYCLASS, an animal welfare and advocacy organization committed to improving the quality of life for residents and animals, has been leading the charge to ban the horse carriage industry in New York City. As Knudson noted in her letter, the group is currently working to advance a bill in the New York City Council, Intro 86A, which would phase out the destructive industry and replace it with a turn-of-the-century vintage-replica car.

Knudson also notes that more than 70,000 people have signed a NYCLASS petition to support phasing out the horses in favor of electric, turn-of-the-century vintage-replica cars.

A full copy of Knudson's letter to CBS New York appears below:

February 29, 2012

David Friend
Senior Vice-President
WCBS
524 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Dear Mr. Friend:

I was disappointed to see that CBS New York is promoting horse-drawn carriages in New York City on its website and respectfully request that you remove the relevant content immediately.

The carriage horse industry subjects its animals to treacherous work conditions, long hours, and inhumane living situations. These horses are typically forced to work nine-hour days as they maneuver through dense city traffic, sirens and bright lights while inhaling noxious automobile fumes. Once they exhaust their usefulness, they are often sold to "kill-buyers" and transported to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered for meat.

CBS New York's decision to highlight carriage rides is surprising given the fact that its reporters have covered the industry and our efforts to get these horses off the streets. Its coverage has included a 2011 incident where four people were injured after a carriage landed on top of its horse after a taxi slammed into it. It also covered an incident involving a carriage horse with a family on board that became spooked by a pedicab, backed onto a sidewalk, and fell to the ground twice.

The editorial staff at CBS New York is clearly aware of the controversies associated with this carriage rides, which is why its decision to allow this content to be posted is out of character with the station's reputation for muckraking journalism.

In addition, the optics of posting material that appears to endorse the carriage industry obscures the important reporting you have done on this issue to date and could raise questions about the objectivity of future reporting on the horse-drawn carriage rides and the welfare of the horses. Fortunately, you can easily neutralize those questions by immediately removing the offending material from your website.

We are continuing to build support for legislation in the New York City Council, Intro 86A, which would phase out the carriage horse industry and replace it with a cleaner, safer, and more animal-friendly alternative: a fully electric, turn-of-the-century vintage-replica car. More than 70,000 people have signed a petition in support of this legislation.

I hope that you will take the concerns outlined in this letter seriously and promptly remove the page in question from your web site so that this issue does not distract from the unbiased news coverage CBS New York's reporters provide to New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

Carly Marie Knudson
Executive Director
New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets (NYCLASS)

 

 

Do you like this post?