On 23 January 2013, a Victoria horse whose owner had an expired license
but who had recently been
given a health certificate stating he was ‘fit’ by the Maharashtra animal
husbandry department was confiscated by PETA, the police and an Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) who was
on the scene.
Dr Manilal Valliyate, director
of veterinary affairs for PETA India, reports that the horse has cracks on the
hooves on all four legs, indicative of poor shoeing techniques. A horse with
damaged hoof walls is prone to laminitis (inflammation of sensitive laminae
inside the hoof), which can lead to lameness. Poor shoeing is also a violation
of the farriery rules under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
The horse also has a wound on the lateral side of his right hock and loss of
hair on his withers, caused by brushing of the saddle, and also suffers from
tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons and ligaments) of the hind legs.
Forcing an animal to work in these conditions is an offense of the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Recently, during the High Court of Bombay proceedings regarding the case
in which NGOs including PETA are calling for a ban on cruel Victoria carriages
in the city, it was revealed that now only 18 Victoria drivers carry licenses
to ply, while all others are completely illegal. The counsel for the traffic
commissioner informed the court that a total of 53 applications for licenses
were received, out of which 35 were outright rejected on the basis of offences
against the carriage drivers, horses who weren't fit, cruelty to animals,
overloading and other illegalities.
PETA questions the certificates issued to the 18 horses who have been
given licenses to ply since equine experts have explained forcing horses to
haul carriages on the city's streets is inherently cruel, as it often results
in permanent leg damage, collapses and traffic accidents. PETA is calling on
authorities to confiscate all Victoria horses immediately for drivers who have
not been issued licenses to help ensure the safety of people and the welfare of
horses while continuing to ask for a total ban on the cruel trade.
"A business based on
the abuse of animals can never be regulated into legitimacy", says Dr
Valliyate. "Delhi has banned cruel and dangerous horse-drawn carriages,
and Mumbai must do the same."
You can help ban Mumbai's horse carriages by taking action here.
Posted by PETA
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