NEW YORK, (HCANYC) – The Horse and Carriage Association of New York City will be filing formal complaints today with the NY State Attorney General’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Department of Investigation, and with the Inspector General of the NYC Department of Health. These complaints are being levied against the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (known as the A.S.P.C.A.) and its affiliated lobbying group, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (known as NY-CLASS).
The nature of the complaints and their focus are as follows:
- We are asking the Attorney General to investigate what may be the improper exchange of money and resources between the ASPCA and NY-CLASS. Ed Sayres is both the president and CEO of the ASPCA, and the co-president of NY-CLASS. In addition to subsequent use of facilities, vehicles, resources, and personnel, the ASPCA gave NY-CLASS $250,000 at the time of NY-CLASS’s founding in 2008.
- Both the ASPCA and NYCLASS have made false, misleading, and/or deceptive statements about the carriage industry
in conjunction with fundraising and solicitation of donations, and we believe that this activity constitutes a potential to defraud the public.
- We want an investigation of these organizations’ lobbying, legislative and political activities, especially where such activities are bolstered by deceptive claims about our industry.
- We are seeking an investigation into NY-CLASS’s (and, by extension, the ASPCA’s) questionable participation in deceptive anti-carriage-industry advertising campaigns by “animal-rights” organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the private company, Manhattan Mini Storage, owned by Edison Properties LLC of Newark, NJ. NY-CLASS’s co-president is Steve Nislick, CEO of Edison Properties.
- We are also asking for a full and thorough investigation into the alleged in-house “pressuring” of the ASPCA’s vet to issue misleading and unscientific statements about the death of Charlie on October 23rd. This alleged “pressure” has already been the subject of a complaint to the AG’s office by equine veterinarian Dr. Pamela Corey against her employer, the ASPCA.
- Finally, we are seeking recourse for the glaring conflict of interest which has been laid bare by all the aforementioned activities of the ASPCA and NY-CLASS. This conflict of interest concerns the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Division’s primary duty as a law enforcement agency, as required by its NY State Charter and by NYC Administrative Code, to oversee and enforce laws pertaining to our industry, while the secondary activities of the ASPCA seek to eliminate our industry altogether.
Enough is enough.
We request that the Attorney General examine what appears to be a grave betrayal of the public trust by the ASPCA. We expect that the City Council, the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health will take these complaints very seriously, and conduct their own investigations into this disturbing conflict of interest at the ASPCA and in NY-CLASS’s political activities, in order to determine whether or not the ASPCA can EVER be a fair and impartial law enforcement agency, acting on the City’s and the public’s behalf, with regard to the carriage industry.
About the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City
The Horse and Carriage Association of New York City, Inc. is a non-profit organization chartered in 2000 to promote and protect New York City’s horse-drawn carriage industry, its horses and its history. Its members include medallion owners, stable owners, drivers, industry personnel and other supporters, giving a collective voice to the iconic horses and carriages of Central Park. The drivers, workers, and small businessmen of the Horse and Carriage Association are represented by Teamsters Local 553.