For Immediate Release:
3 April 2017
PETA Calls for Immediate Implementation of Victoria Ban
Mumbai – Today, a Bombay High Court bench which included Justice AS Oka and Justice AK Menon dismissed the review petition filed by horse carriage owners calling for the Victoria ban to be overturned. With this dismissal, the court has firmly reiterated that the ban on horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai remains in place (although it still needs to be implemented). People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India senior counsel Shyam Mehta, argued that the 2015 judgment must be implemented and that use of horse-drawn carriages must be suspended immediately.
The 8 June 2015 judgment of the Bombay High Court ruled that using Victorias in Mumbai for so-called “joyrides” is illegal. The court also maintained that none of the stables for horses in Mumbai possesses a licence under Section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. In April 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition challenging the Bombay High Court order which stated that Victorias must be phased out within a year. Instead, it directed carriage owners to approach the High Court by way of a review petition and directed the Maharashtra government to present its rehabilitation plan for carriage owners and drivers. The Supreme Court also granted a six-month extension for the implementation of the High Court order, and this timeline ended on 24 October.
“It’s high time for the state government to implement the honourable court’s order to rid our congested streets of Victorias”, says Dr Manilal Valliyate, PETA’s director of veterinary affairs. “The Victorias that malnourished horses are forced to haul while hobbling along on often swollen, painful legs are unlicensed and pose a threat to the public. We urge the government to protect citizens and horses alike by developing and implementing a rehabilitation scheme immediately.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” –provided the court with evidence of cruelty to horses from its numerous investigations of Mumbai’s horse-drawn Victoria industry. It revealed that horses were often injured, sick, and severely malnourished and forced to stand amidst their own waste in filthy and decrepit stables. Reports further documented that they were frequently denied adequate rest, water, and veterinary care. Accidents involving horse-drawn carriages have caused numerous injuries, some of which have been fatal, such as the death of a 3-year-old child who was thrown from a carriage in Thane after a passing car startled a horse. And a horse was critically injured after he collapsed because of exhaustion at the Gateway of India.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.