Third PETA India Investigation Reveals State of Emergency for Kolkata Horses

Posted on by Erika Goyal

PETA India’s third investigation of horses used for rides in Kolkata shows that they are in a state of crisis, so PETA India and the CAPE Foundation organised a press conference on 25 May requesting that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee intervene. The plea comes on the heels of horse owners repeatedly refusing to participate in veterinary health camps organised by the Animal Resources Development Department of the Government of West Bengal in association with the animal protection groups following an order of the Calcutta High Court. The explosive new PETA India assessment report details the continued miserable conditions of more than 100 horses used for tourist and carriage rides in Kolkata.

The most immediate need for the suffering horses of Kolkata is essential veterinary care. PETA India urges the state government to appoint a law enforcement committee to seize unwell horses and those being used without the necessary legal requirements being satisfied and send them to sanctuaries. PETA India is calling for horse carriages to be replaced with sleek e-carriages – like those being used in Mumbai.

Emaciated and Exhausted

Many horses used for rides in Kolkata are anaemic, malnourished, lame, visually impaired, and/or chronically starved. Yet, they are forced to work all day in the heat and other extreme weather conditions, on dusty roads amidst heavy traffic, breathing in fumes. The horses’ body conditions were assessed, and all of them were given a score of “thin” or “very thin”. This is a clear indication that most of the horses have gone without proper nutrition for a very long time.

Severe Injuries Go Untreated

The rides are hazardous to both horses and the public, and both have been gravely injured in accidents. What’s more, horses with serious, irreparable injuries such as broken bones are often abandoned, left to starve, and endure slow, painful deaths.

Ruined Hooves and Mouths

The horses are denied proper farriery, causing their feet to deteriorate. Some were also found fitted with illegal spiked bits, which lacerate their mouths, to control them through pain.

Vectors of Disease

The animals’ faeces are strewn around the city, creating a tetanus risk and other health hazards.

Operators Refuse to Act

Operators of these rides have repeatedly refused to seek the free veterinary treatment offered in the health camps organised by the state for even the most injured, sick animals.

Call for Change

Sign the petition to help end the cruel use of horses in Kolkata!


You can also tweet at the chief minister of West Bengal requesting that the horses be replaced with the kind of e-carriages already used in Mumbai.