Mumbai Police Seize Another Weak, Wounded, Lame Victoria Horse

For Immediate Release:
21 November 2016

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Animal Welfare Board of India–Authorised Inspection Conducted With the Help of PETA and Other Groups

Mumbai – The veterinary report filed at the Colaba Police Station yesterday by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)–authorised inspectors – including a veterinarian from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and animal-welfare officers from Animal Rahat and People for Animals – explains the shockingly poor body condition of a horse who was recently seized by Mumbai police and sent to The Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals hospital in Parel for necessary veterinary treatment and care as well as much-needed rest. The report states that the horse was severely malnourished, lame, and dehydrated and had protruding rib, back, and pelvic bones. The animal also suffered from advanced arthritis and swollen joints, overgrown and cracked hooves, and multiple chronic wounds that were deliberately hidden with white material – all while being forced to give carriage rides near Gateway of India.

“Sick, malnourished Victoria horses are hobbling on swollen limbs right down the street from government officials in Mantralaya, yet there still seems to be no concrete plan to remove them from the roads”, says Dr Manilal Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs for PETA. “This is an outrage. Five other physically unfit horses were seized in recent months as well, proving that the Bombay High Court ban on horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai must be implemented immediately.”

Even though the Maharashtra government set up a cabinet sub-committee on 10 November 2016 to discuss providing Victoria owners and drivers with hawkers’ licences from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and then submit a report, it seems no progress has been made.

In April, the Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition challenging the 8 June 2015 Bombay High Court order which stated that Victorias must be phased out within a year. Instead, it directed carriage owners to approach the Bombay 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 Bombay High Court order, and this timeline ended on 24 October.

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