For Immediate Release:
25 November 2011
Former Miss Sri Lanka Universe Wants Outdated Practice Put Out to Pasture
Mumbai – As she affectionately pats a horse while standing on a beach wearing a bikini and next to the words “Put Horse Carriages Out to Pasture – Boycott Horse-Drawn Carriages”, Sri Lankan actor and model Jacqueline Fernandez stars in a brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. The ad was shot by ace photographer Anushka Menon. The ad is being released in the wake of a recent incident in which a horse collapsed after being forced to pull a carriage of eight people near the Gateway of India – an all-too-common occurrence among horses who are used for “joy rides” in the city. It is also being released following the Mumbai High Court’s landmark decision to crackdown on unlicensed stables housing carriage horses. PETA India is calling on BMC to ban horse drawn carriages outright.
“I have observed so many … heartbreaking incidents, and I can’t be a silent spectator to this abuse anymore”, Fernandez wrote recently in a letter to the Municipal Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. “Horses simply don’t belong on the streets, and they certainly don’t deserve to be forced to pull carriages beyond the point of exhaustion.”
When horses are forced to pull heavy carriages on busy city streets, accidents often result. Over the years, both horses and humans have been seriously injured and killed. In Thane, a young boy was killed when a horse he was riding became spooked by a passing vehicle. In Mumbai, a horse recently collapsed near CST station, and vehicles have collided with horse carts.
PETA investigators have documented that horses who are used to pull carriages are forced to stand for hours, given no protection from the scorching sun or driving rain and beaten and whipped in order to force them to work beyond the point of exhaustion. These horses are malnourished and given dirty drinking water – if they receive any water at all. Stables are often damp, filthy and infested with flies and other biting insects because of an accumulation of horse faeces and urine. When injured, these horses typically receive no veterinary care. In 2010, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi decided to ban horse tongas in Delhi.
Fernandez won the Miss Sri Lanka Universe title in 2006. She received an International Indian Film Academy Award and Stardust Award for Best Female Debut in 2010 for her role in the Indian film, Aladin, and she plays the lead in the just-released Bollywood thriller, Murder 2.
Fernandez joins a growing list of actors – including Hema Malini, John Abraham and Glee star Lea Michele – who have teamed up with PETA India to call for an end to horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai’s streets.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.