Following a campaign by PETA India, the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar sent letters to all political parties in the state reminding them to follow the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) 2012 advisory, which urges parties to refrain from using animals in political campaigns. Letters have also been sent to District Magistrates in all Bihar districts to ensure strict compliance with the ECI advisory.
The move comes after PETA India apprised the Chief Election Commissioner of India and the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar in July 2015 of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav’s plans to use 1,000 “tam tams” (horse-drawn carriages) for political campaigning.
PETA India warned that such an action by the RJD would be against the spirit of the ECI advisory and encouraged authorities to remind political parties not to use animals. The RJD later chose not to use the tam tams.
As PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – also pointed out in its letter, animals used in political campaigns can sometimes become spooked, which can result in serious injury to the horses and the people around them. In addition, they are made to carry loads that are too heavy for them and denied adequate food and water.
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