Queens Councilman Robert Holden on Friday urged NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate possible horse abuse in the city — just days after another animal collapsed on a busy Manhattan street.
“Horses that startle easily, collapse in the street and even die abruptly are not normal behavior,” Holden said in a letter to the prosecutor.
“I suspect there is a systemic problem with the treatment of these horses. Only an investigation by your division will reveal the truth.”
His push to have Manhattan’s Supreme Prosecutor and the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation team investigate the carriage horse industry comes after a 14-year-old horse named Ryder collapsed on a Hell’s Kitchen street on Wednesday.
The horse was filmed lying on the tarmac as its driver hit the beast and yelled for the animal to “get up”.
“We only know about these incidents because they took place in public, for large
crowds that could record the events,” Holden said in his letter to Bragg.
“After every tragedy, the horse-drawn carriage industry tries to explain away horse disease as a natural phenomenon.”
Bragg’s office didn’t immediately return a message.
Holden, who wants to introduce a bill to eliminate horse-drawn carriages across the Big Apple, on Thursday called on New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan to investigate Ryder’s health — and release his medical records to release. whether the animal has been allegedly mistreated.
In the wake of Ryder’s collapse, a stable steward and the… transport workers unionrepresenting the coachmen, both said a vet believed the horse likely had a neurological disease known as Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis.
Christina Hansen, a coachman who works at the stable, told The Post on Friday that the horse was already recovering and doing “well”.
She added that they were waiting for the final blood test to confirm the EPM diagnosis.
But Holden, a Democrat, pointed to images and videos of the horse showing its ribs sticking out.
“The horse, Ryder, appears malnourished, while the driver is not concerned that his horse could die right before his eyes,” he wrote to the commissioner, citing images of the driver ordering the horse to get up again.
The Queens Pol added that an investigation was warranted given the “widespread attention” the latest incident has attracted.
He also urged the health department to inspect the stables around Midtown where the carriage horses are kept.
Holden’s bill – introduced last month – aims to replace horse-drawn carriages with electric ones instead. If the new measure is passed, the new measure will give drivers a preference for an electric transport license and should also receive union wages.