Mumbai Police Seize Two More Abused Horses, This Time from Political Rally

For Immediate Release:
25 May 2018

Meet Ashar; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

PETA India Worked With Bandra Police to File an FIR and Transport Equines to BMC Shelter for Veterinary Care

Mumbai – Yesterday, the Kherwadi Police Station in Bandra East seized two young horses who were being used in a political rally organised by followers of the Indian National Congress to protest against rising fuel prices. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India assisted the police in filing a First Information Report (FIR) against the horses’ custodians under Sections 3 and 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, for treating the weak and exhausted animals cruelly, including by repeatedly kicking them to force them to walk under the scorching-hot sun for hours without food, water, or shade, carrying person after person while riders took selfies. Both horses were transported to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) cattle pound in Malad for immediate medical examination and veterinary care. Photos of the horses are available upon request.

Earlier this week, after PETA India informed the Mumbai police about two very thin, malnourished horses in Nariman Point who had visible ribs and backbones and were injured, the Cuffe Parade police filed an FIR against the horses’ custodians and also transported the animals to the BMC cattle pound.

“Keeping horses in Mumbai is illegal, and using them in rallies and protests is not allowed, either,” says PETA India Emergency Response Coordinator Meet Ashar. “Political parties must stick to eye-catching and creative protests that don’t subject animals to frightening, frenetic crowds. PETA India is working with the police and BMC to get neglected horses the care they need.”

Following an appeal in 2012 by PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – the Election Commission of India issued a directive to all political parties asking them to refrain from using animals for political campaigns. In 2015, following a meeting with PETA India, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Indian National Congress, issued a circular to all its units in India directing them to “refrain from using any animals as part of any NSUI rally, protest or any other purpose”. In June of the same year, the High Court of Bombay ruled that housing horses in stables not licensed by BMC and using horse-drawn carriages, or Victorias, in Mumbai for so-called “joy rides” is “completely illegal”. In July 2017, the High Court accepted the rehabilitation plan submitted by the Maharashtra government for horse-drawn carriage owners and drivers, allowing horses to be removed from Mumbai roads and drivers to receive a payment and/or a vendor licence, thus ensuring their livelihood. PETA India sent a letter earlier this month urging Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Shri DK Jain to implement this plan immediately by ensuring that the BMC receives the necessary funds, as approved by the state government.

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