Weddings are the most important day for countless couples, and a joyous celebration of love among family and friends. However, the horses who are forced to perform and carry grooms at weddings only experience abuse, pain and suffering. Nowadays many couples, including celebrities, are leaving animals out of their marriage celebrations helping to ensure that their big day doesn’t contribute any cruelty to animals.
Ceremonial horses never get to experience love, which is what weddings are supposed to celebrate. Instead, handlers often ram spiked bits, which Section 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965 clearly prohibits, into horses’ mouths and capitalize on the lacerations, lesions, swelling and bruising the devices cause to control the animals. Spiked bits do lasting damage, too: They can leave a horse’s mouth injured forever.
On top of tortuous spiked bits, horses used at weddings are also subjected to loud music, crowds and firecrackers, which disturb the animals because they are very sensitive to sound and can hear noises that humans cannot . Often times the chaotic noises of ceremonies cause horses to panic, which can lead to erratic behavior and accidents.
When they’re not being used, these horses are typically kept in filthy conditions, tied in one place with ropes that are often so short that the animals can’t engage in normal movements. They’re commonly denied adequate food, water, and veterinary care. They often collapse from exhaustion or dehydration, especially when they’re subjected to the extreme heat. Because they’re forced to live in unsanitary conditions, aren’t given proper foot care, and are made to spend their lives standing on hard concrete, they’re vulnerable to conditions such as canker (a cauliflower-like growth inside the foot), thrush (an infection), and laminitis (a painful inflammation of the sensitive inner foot).
There is also the risk of horses passing on potentially fatal Glanders to humans. As the Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi warns, India is in the midst of a Glanders epidemic.
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput kept their nuptials horse-free, as did Neil Nitin Mukesh & Rukmini Sahay, Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge, and Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi. Actor Anushka Sharma & Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli also got married without exploiting horses and Btown biggies Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja’s recent wedding was horse-friendly, too.
Instead, stars used glamourous cars and cricketer Yuvraj Singh even used an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for his entry.
Take a cue from Bollywood’s brightest stars by leaving horses out of your wedding ceremony. Make it official by pledging not to use ceremonial horses at your wedding today!