‘Horses’ To Descend On Mumbai With Demand: Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

For Immediate Release

15 June 2012


Deepti Mishra; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Bollywood Announces Support for the Campaign

Mumbai – Wearing horse masks and holding signs that read, “Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages”, supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will converged on Azad Maidan on Saturday. Other animal protection groups – including Karuna, Sharan and PAWS – are also supporting the protest, as is citizens’ group Mumbai for Horses.

Stars Ayesha Takia, Rahul Khanna, Amy Jackson, Kalki Koechlin, Sonakshi Sinha, Neha Dhupia, Celina Jaitly and Sonu Sood; designer and celebrity hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani and photographer Rohan Shrestha have tweeted in support of PETA’s campaign to end the use of horses to haul carriages in Mumbai. Hema Malini, Jacqueline Fernandez and John Abraham are also supporters of this campaign. Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Anushka Manchanda, Sameera Reddy, Rocky S, Aashish Chaudhary, Sahil Shroff, Arpita Khan and Ira Dubey are among those who have voiced their opinions to model Pia Trivedi, goodwill ambassador of Mumbai for Horses, in favour of a ban on horse carriages. Their comments are below.

Horses who are forced to carry passengers beyond permissible limits are commonly subjected to beatings, dehydration, heat stress and malnutrition, and the carriages endanger horses, passengers and passers-by. Carriage operators who don’t have licences for stables from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and licences for drivers from the traffic police should have had their horses confiscated as per Bombay High Court’s interim court order.

When:    Saturday, 16 June, 12 noon sharp

Where:   Azad Maidan, across from the CST station, Mumbai

Note:      The protest will take place rain or shine. A large tent will keep the media dry in the event of a      downpour.

“Horses shouldn’t be forced to breathe car and truck fumes all day or be driven to the point of collapse”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “The only way to ensure that these gentle animals don’t suffer and that the safety of residents and tourists isn’t placed at risk is to ban horse-drawn carriages.”

There have been numerous accidents in which both horses and humans have been seriously injured or even killed because of horse-drawn carriages. Recently, a horse used to pull a carriage skidded at Gateway of India in Mumbai and seriously injured two passengers. In September, another horse pulling a carriage collapsed from exhaustion and was unable to stand for 20 minutes. Horses used to pull carriages are forced to haul passengers in all weather extremes and are frequently denied adequate rest, food and water. They often collapse from exhaustion and are whipped in an effort to get them to stand. Most never see a veterinarian in their lifetime, and regulations pertaining to animals forced to work are rarely enforced. Horses in Mumbai are also forced to live in filthy, damp stables amidst their own faeces and urine and are often left to stand without any shade, which is a clear violation of Section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. Many of the drivers don’t have a valid licence to ply horse carriages, as per Section 11 of the Bombay Public Land Conveyance Act, 1920.

A growing number of cities worldwide – including Delhi, Toronto, London, Oxford, Paris and Beijing – have banned horse-drawn carriages.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.


Comments in Favour of Banning Horse-Drawn Carriages

Pia Trivedi: “Ever since I can remember, I have wanted the government to ban the Victoria horse carriages in Mumbai! The only reason being is that the horses are NOT taken care of and are treated so cruelly! … It’s a poor and heart-breaking sight. Most horses are undernourished, the hooves haven’t been maintained (which is very important in the case of horses) and the owners can barely fend for themselves and are forcing the animal to work under unconscionable conditions. It’s an unbearable sight! Please, I sincerely request the government to consider banning this torture!”

Priyanka Chopra: “The sight of horse-drawn carriages nowadays is a source of sadness. The plight of the poor horses is tough to bear. The horses aren’t taken care of properly and are being made to work under unimaginable conditions. We should ensure that the people responsible for this are punished and ensure that this practice is stopped once and for all”.

Kangana Ranaut: “Horses are the most majestic creatures on Earth. It’s very sad to see them pulling carts and doing jobs on hard roads not meant for them. Despite this, they’re kept in the worst conditions, get little or nothing to eat and even their wounds are not tended to properly, resulting in a painful life and an even more painful death. This needs to end!”

Aashish Chaudhary: “Lack of amusement brings about stupidity! There are better ways to entertain kids and other grown-up ‘joyride’ seekers. If human carriages have been cut down, are we blind towards the pain of animals that can’t speak for themselves? Horses or otherwise, any animal carriages are criminal. We need equal justice for all living beings”.

Anushka Manchanda: “It’s cruel to go on a horse-carriage ‘joyride’ in today’s conditions, exposing horses to so much noise, pollution and danger. There are other ways for humans to have fun”.

Sameera Reddy: “I’ve grown up around horses and consider them to be one of the most beautiful creatures of God. These majestic animals on the streets of Mumbai are treated with utmost disrespect and cruelty, instead of being loved. They are wounded carrying a burden they are not meant to carry in this day and age and suffer a torturous life followed by gruesome deaths. They don’t deserve this”.

Rocky S: “Forcing horses to pull over-sized carriages is neither romantic nor adventurous fun – it’s cruel. Horses are shackled between the shafts of their carriage, their vision restricted by blinders, often working in extreme weather conditions with inadequate access to water and food. It’s just too unkind. These horses are either too ill, injured or worn out, and this leads them to be no longer a profit for their owners. In the end they are either left to die or sold to buyers to slaughter them. The only way to end this cruelty is to ban it permanently and give these horses the freedom that they deserve”.

Sahil Shroff: “It’s 2012 – horse carriages were used in the Middle Ages for transport. Now we have all the transport in the world, we forget the purpose and will use horses for entertainment. Sit on a horse’s back in a natural setting (not a road built for cars) and take a ride and enjoy its beauty. Don’t use them as beasts of burden. Carriages should be banned. We have transport, and we have legs”.

Arpita Khan: “As human beings it’s high time we think about animals and our surroundings rather than being so selfish! With the large number of man-made machines, we don’t need to resort to horses. They have served us a lot in the past when we didn’t have man-made machines. Today it’s their time to take a back seat. Ban horse carriages”.

Alison, Choreographer: “We don’t live in the Dark Ages – we live in a world that has access to far better means of transport than being cruel to an animal for entertainment or pleasure or transport. Stop being cruel! Get rid of horse carriages – it’s no joy ride”.

Ira Dubey: “On the pretext of tourism/leisure, our ghoda gadis … are a glaring, shocking and clear example of our indifference to cruelty to animals – in this day and age, go to an amusement park instead!”

Other Comments

Mili Gandhi, Mumbai for Horses: “Mumbai for Horses is a citizens’ campaign which has over 4,500 members and is mentored and guided by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, the first lady of animal welfare in India. Our goodwill ambassadors are Pia Trivedi and Kitu Gidwani”.

Ambika Hiranandani, animal rights activist: “Our aim is to establish that Mumbaikars will no longer accept animal cruelty, and it certainly will not be our icon anymore”.

Rachel Koyama, head of signature campaign, Mumbai for Horses: “Every time I go to colleges, I am surrounded by young people who are so enthusiastic to help and sign [onto] our campaign. We will reach our goal of 10,000 signatures in no time”.

Vandana Kripalani, Mumbai for Horses: “Once we have the signatures, we will sit outside the Chief Minister’s, Mayor’s, Municipal Commissioner’s and Joint Commissioner of Traffic Police’s offices and ensure that the horses’ plight is taken seriously”.