Animal Welfare Board of India Directs Kolkata Officials to Help Ailing City Horses Following PETA India Complaint 

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HORSES (Image from wikipedia)
HORSES (Image from wikipedia)
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Kolkata :

Following complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India about the abuse and neglect of horses used for hauling carriages around the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has directed Kolkata police and the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services to conduct an urgent inquiry into cruelty to horses. The AWBI also asked Kolkata officials to ensure that horses are provided with necessary medical care, removed from the trade, and rehabilitated as required. The board notes that cruelty to animals is a violation of Section 3 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and a punishable offence under Section 11(1) of the PCA Act and Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

A copy of the AWBI’s letter to Kolkata authorities can be downloaded here

“The sad plight of the sick and injured horses saddens tourists and locals alike,” says PETA India Deputy Director of Advocacy Projects Harshil Maheshwari. “Numerous inspections have documented their poor and deteriorating condition, yet they’re still forced to haul carriages. Many of these carriages are unlicensed, and there are no licensed stables in the city. PETA India calls for the horses to be replaced with beautiful motorized e-carriages, which has been a win-win solution in Mumbai.” 

Recently, after considering the state of Kolkata’s horses, over 150 veterinarians appealed to the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, requesting that she prohibit horse-drawn carriages. 

The Honourable Bombay High Court, through its judgement dated 8 June 2015, ruled that using horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai for “joyrides” is illegal. It noted that forcing horses to work on concrete and tar surfaces is harmful to their health and further found the conditions in which the horses were maintained to be “pathetic”. Thereafter, on 3 April 2017, while dismissing a review petition filed by horse owners, the Bombay High Court firmly reiterated its decision. Recently, the Honourable Supreme Court of India, vide its order dated 6 February 2023, dismissed an appeal against the prohibition of horse-drawn carriages imposed by the Bombay High Court. Now traditional-style e-carriages are used in Mumbai and are preferred by tourists and carriage drivers alike. 

PETA India has compiled a factsheet of numerous road accidents in Kolkata involving horses, illustrating the dangers of using them to haul tourists. Through a public interest litigation, the group has appealed to the Calcutta High Court to prohibit the use of horses for rides and hauling carriages.  

The AWBI also issued a letter to Kolkata authorities in June 2022 asking for an inquiry on cruelty to horses, but no action was taken report was submitted. 

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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