Founded in 1904 to protect New York City’s working horses, the recipient of America’s Best Charities Seal of Excellence, the nonprofit directs 97 percent of all funds donated toward program activities. This includes clinical care, dentistry, and surgery for companion cats and dogs. The Humane Society of New York (HSNY) has been committed to animal welfare for nearly 120 years. It also offers free spay and neuter programs and cares for stray animals at its Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center.
Beyond its principal work in animal care and treatment, the Humane Society of New York champions a variety of humane issues. Through advocacy and community support, it has played a critical role in the passing of a pair of recent animal-friendly New York State bills. A. 4283/S.1130 and A. 5653-B/S.4839-B ban the direct sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores and limit testing cosmetic products on animals, respectively.
Below are four other inhumane animal practices that the HSNY is hoping to see abolished.
Four Inhumane Animal Practices Should Be stoped
The United States made horse slaughter illegal in 2007. While the private slaughtering of horses is legal in most states, it is banned in New York and six other states, including California and Florida. Despite this, thousands of horses each year are sent to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered.
Meat from these horses is then shipped overseas for human consumption. The injured or poor-performing racehorses, carriage horses, and other equines sold at auctions receive less than adequate care during the trip to their international destinations. They don’t receive sufficient food or water and often get injured or sick along the way.
During the 1990s, meat from as many as 300,000 horses each year was shipped overseas for meat. Fewer than 22,000 horses were shipped to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered in 2022, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While this is a marked improvement, the practice needs to be discontinued altogether.
In hopes of banning horse slaughter altogether, the HSNY drafted A. 5109 and S. 2163-A, which was sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
Wildlife Killing Contests
Along with Senator Timothy Kennedy, Assemblymember Glick is also sponsoring legislation A. 2917 and S. 4099, which would put a stop to wildlife killing competitions in New York. As it stands, the bills have exemptions for contests involving the killing of bears, turkeys, and deer. The HSNY is advocating for the removal of these exemptions during the legislative process.
Killing wildlife for sport is cruel and unnecessary. It promotes animal abuse, often with prizes for those who kill the most or largest animals, whether they are foxes, coyotes, squirrels, or rabbits. In some contests, participants are even encouraged to showcase their “trophies” in videos posted online. The HSNY contends that these contests not only cause animals pain and suffering but also model damaging values to children, who should be taught to show empathy and respect for animals.
As if killing wildlife for sport isn’t cruel enough, canned hunting is even more vicious. The animals are placed in enclosed areas with no escape. Many of these animals are used to or even friendly with humans, so they don’t feel threatened and won’t try to run away. In other cases, animals are lured to specific areas with the promise of food before being shot with guns or arrows.
There are several canned hunting facilities in New York. One offers a range of exotic animals, including elk, buffalo, and Sitka deer. People pay thousands of dollars to kill these animals and usually don’t need a hunting license. Currently, 26 states have complete or partial canned hunting bans, whereas New York just limits the size of the area (at least 10 acres) of the fenced-in area in which hunts take place.
The HSNY drafted bills A. 3784 and S.589, sponsored by Assemblymember Glick and Senator Liz Krueger, in hopes of ending the unsportsmanlike hunting practice.
Live Animal Markets
There are more than 80 live animal markets in densely populated New York City alone. These unsanitary and inhumane establishments slaughter animals like chickens, ducks, and goats on-site and sell that meat to consumers. The HSNY recently received New York State Agriculture and Markets inspection reports of various markets dating as far back as 2006.
These reports featured a range of alarming complaints, including “workers observed throwing chicken on the floor,” “spoiled chicken sold,” “facility is infested with roaches and rats,” “air is unbreathable,” and “bags of blood are being held in the backyard and visible from the street with blood draining from bag; garbage cans have live maggots.”
The HSNY helped draft bills A. 959 and S. 4311, sponsored by Senator Luis Sepulveda and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal that seek to ban live animal markets.