Written by PETA
During the recent High Court of Bombay
proceedings regarding the case in which non-profit organisations, 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
On 4 October 2012, the Honourable Court stated, "The Licencing Authority while
exercising powers under the provisions of the Bombay Public conveyances Act,
1920 shall take into consideration the provisions of Section 11 and the other
provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and shall consider
whether the places, where the concerned horses are kept, are maintained in
hygienic condition or not. As far as, licence to be issued for fitness of horse
is concerned, the same shall be considered on the basis of fitness of
PETA questions the certificates issued to the 18 horses who have been
given licenses to ply since equine experts have explained that 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 calls 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 Manilal Valliyate,
director of veterinary affairs for PETA India. "Delhi has banned cruel and
dangerous horse-drawn carriages, and Mumbai must do the same."
Poonam Mahajan of People for Animals, one of the
other groups intervening in the case, states, "While we welcome the Hon'ble Courts Order, it is
inherently cruel to make horses ply on concrete. There is no need to go into
individual cases. While we spend hours going into individual cases horses keep
having accidents and dying. We need a comprehensive solution like in Delhi.
Horses must not be made to suffer on Mumbai's streets a second longer than
these wonderful beings already have".
You can help bring in the ban. Learn how you can
Right before the High Court of Bombay hearing for Mumbai's horse-drawn
carriages on 13 December 2012, PETA released the findings of its latest
investigation of cruelty to horses used by the carriage industry in the city.
See some of the heart-rending photographs from PETA's investigation,
which show sick, injured, overworked and malnourished horses forced to live in
atrociously filthy conditions.
An earlier court ruling suggested that horses
found to be unfit should not be used for pulling carriages again until a
veterinary officer determines that they are fit. As PETA points out, though,
the stables are in decrepit condition, and forcing horses to work in the
congested city, hauling loads on pavement, deteriorates their physical and
mental health. The following are just a few of PETA's findings:
Join the campaign and call for a ban on cruel horse-drawn carriages in
Representing PETA India and Animal Rahat, a panel of India's most
renowned equine veterinarians – who together have more than 32 years of
experience addressing India's most challenging equine welfare issues – came
together with Mumbai for Horses and People for Animals to make the case that
the only way to stop the abuse and suffering of horses used to pull carriages
through the streets of Mumbai and avoid the traffic hazards that they cause is
to enact an all-out city-wide ban on Victorias. The experts also explained that
passengers, drivers and pedestrians are injured and even killed when
horse-drawn carriages are involved in accidents.
Three equine experts – Dr Manilal
Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs for PETA India and member of the
Animal Welfare Board of India; Dr Avinash Kumar, a leading equine veterinarian
who has worked for The Brooke, an equine welfare charity; and Dr Chetan Yadav,
an equine veterinarian and leading animal welfare specialist working for Animal
Rahat – presented graphic, never-before-seen photos and video footage proving
that keeping horse-drawn carriages on the roads would only ensure that the
cycle of abuse continues.
Dr Valliyate explained that once horses lose
function in a joint, as happens quickly when they're made to walk on pavement
or haul heavy loads, more stress will be placed on their other joints, tendons
and ligaments. No veterinary medicine or surgery can cure this condition, and
it cannot be reversed. The equine veterinarians also pointed out that any move
to issue licenses to the city's currently filthy, decrepit and illegal stables
could subject the horses to various infectious diseases – such as glanders,
strangles, tetanus and equine influenza – and cause many animals to die.
used to haul a carriage despite painfully swollen joints.
Furthermore, despite an order from the Bombay
High Court that nongovernmental organisations be permitted to inspect horses
for signs of poor health or compromised welfare and report the matter to an
executive health officer and despite holding written authorisation from the
Animal Welfare Board of India – a statutory body under the Ministry of
Environment and Forests – to conduct such an inspection, a team of equine
veterinarians from PETA and Animal Rahat was harassed and prevented from
conducting inspections of the horses used to haul carriages in Mumbai by the
carriage owners and drivers and their lawyer.
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