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'Jism 2' Creators and Cast Call for Ban on Horse-Drawn Carriages in Mumbai

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For Immediate Release:
16 August 2012

Contact:
Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; BenazirS@petaindia.org
Sachin Bangera +9122 40727382; SachinB@petaindia.org

Film Team Joins With PETA to Urge Maharashtra Chief Minister to Stop the Suffering Caused by Cruel, Archaic Victorias

Mumbai – On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Jism 2 writer Mahesh Bhatt, director Pooja Bhatt, co-producer Dino Morea, actors Sunny Leone and Arunoday Singh, music director Arko Pravo Mukerjee and lyric writer, music producer and composer Munish Makhija have fired off an urgent letter to Prithviraj Chavan, the chief minister of Maharashtra, asking him to ban the use of horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai immediately. In the letter, the Jism 2 team points out that the horses are forced to haul heavy loads and are driven beyond their capacity to the point of collapse. The team also explains that passengers, drivers and pedestrians are injured and sometimes killed when the carriages and horses are involved in accidents.

"Forcing horses to haul carriages in Mumbai is inherently cruel, as the horses routinely collapse from exhaustion", reads the letter. "They're also a traffic nuisance, and people have even died from accidents caused by horse-drawn carriages. It is high time to put horse carriages out to pasture – for good."

The letter also explains that the Bombay High Court's order to have non-governmental organisations bring ill and injured horses to the executive health officer's notice, at which point the horses would be given veterinary care before being pressed back into service, is woefully inadequate. That's because the horses will be forced to resume pulling heavy loads, only to fall ill or become injured again, and the cycle of suffering will continue. Recently, it has been shown that despite this order, inspections are not even being permitted. Despite holding written authorisation from the Animal Welfare Board of India – a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment & Forests – to conduct the inspection, a team consisting 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 horse-carriage owners and drivers and their lawyer.

Horses used to pull carriages are routinely forced to haul more passengers than the legal limit allows in all weather extremes and are often lame or injured and frequently denied adequate rest, food, water and veterinary care. They are kept in filthy, damp and illegal stables that are infested with biting insects and strewn with faeces.

The Jism 2 team's letter to Chief Minister Chavan is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.

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