Wounded, Abused Horse Used for Carriage Rides in Kolkata Rescued by PETA India

Posted on by Erika Goyal

Following a first information report filed by CAPE Foundation highlighting the egregious cruelty to and neglect suffered by a horse who was used for hauling Victorian-style carriages and for weddings in Kolkata, PETA India swiftly intervened to rescue the animal, who was discovered in distress at the Maidan. The horse displayed alarming signs of mistreatment, including untreated wounds, swollen limbs, and severe weakness. Equine specialists determined that the festering wounds were likely inflicted by ill-fitting saddles and that swelling and severe injuries on the animal’s legs were caused by being forced to work on hard roads. These injuries were exacerbated by malnutrition and dehydration and required immediate medical attention.

The horse has been taken to a sanctuary managed by Animal Rahat, an organisation recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India, with the help of PETA India. The sanctuary will provide the horse with the treatment and care required to recover from her traumatic ordeal. The cooperation of the Maidan police facilitated the confiscation of the horse in distress for urgent medical care.

In recent months, six horses have died in Kolkata and – as evidenced by information documented by PETA India and CAPE Foundation – dozens of horses in the city were found to be anaemic, malnourished, and chronically starved as well as with serious health conditions such as broken bones. Even though the horses are in poor condition and suffer from irreversible ailments as a result of being forced to work on hard roads, they’re still made to pull heavy carriages. When they’re not working, there’s no relief, as they’re forced to stand in their own faeces and they have an extremely poor quality of life. Horse-drawn carriage rides are a risk to the public and a traffic hazard, too. Both horses and humans have been seriously injured. Appallingly, horses who sustain painful, serious injuries are often simply abandoned.

Over 150 veterinarians have appealed to Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, requesting that the government prohibit horse-drawn carriages. The veterinarians noted that horses are forced to haul heavy loads of people on hard roads – conditions that lead to irreparable and irreversible leg and hoof problems that result in lameness.

PETA India has repeatedly written to authorities in West Bengal, pleading with them to spare horses further suffering, and through public interest litigation, the group hopes the Calcutta High Court will prohibit the use of horses for hauling carriages in the city. In Mumbai, horse-drawn carriages have been replaced with sleek, vintage-style, animal-free vehicles.

Help Us End Cruel Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Kolkata