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  • Most Victoria Carriages Illegal

    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 other illegalities.

    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 horses".

    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 help.

  • PETA Investigates Mumbai's Victorias

    Written by PETA

    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:

    • Many horses were fitted with spiked bits, which cause their mouths to bleed. Horses were found with swollen lips and cuts in their mouths.
    • Stables were found with various problems, such as poor ventilation and no drainage. The accumulated garbage, faeces and urine served as breeding grounds for flies, germs and disease. Food was often thrown on top of the horses' own faeces.
    • Most of the stables lacked any facility whatsoever for water, and horses weren't given water between gruelling stints of pulling passengers. They are also starved while at work for up to 12 hours a day, even though their digestive systems require continuous feed intake in small quantities.
    • Fatigued, overloaded horses were routinely whipped to make them move faster. Many drivers cover up the wounds using lime mortar, which acts as an irritant.
    • Many horses' joints were so sore or swollen that they continually lifted their legs off the ground in order to rest them.
    • Most of the horses were found with drooping heads, a sign of severe depression.
    • Drivers readily permit the overloading of their carriages.

    Join the campaign and call for a ban on cruel horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai.

  • Top Vets Support Ban on Horse Carriages

    Written by PETA

    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.

    Horse 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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