For Immediate Release:
23 February 2021
Meet Ashar; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
FIR Registered Under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
Mumbai – After receiving a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Gorai police registered a First Information Report (FIR) and arrested participants in a cruel and illegal horse-cart race which took place on 14 February at Gorai Beach during the early hours of the morning. The animal protection group learned about the incident after a video went viral on social media which showed a group of men mercilessly whipping and beating horses, forcing them to run continuously amidst the chaos of noisy motorcycles and the shouting riders.
After submitting a formal complaint to the Mumbai commissioner of police, PETA India worked closely with Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone XI Mumbai Vishal Thakur. The FIR includes the provisions of Section 11(1) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which makes whipping and beating an animal and causing the animal unnecessary pain and suffering punishable offences. As per the latest report, some of the accused were arrested and were led before a magistrate court.
“PETA India commends Mumbai police for sending a clear message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated and for ensuring that the 2015 direction of the High Court of Bombay which banned keeping and using horses for joy rides, ceremonies, processions, and other purposes in the city is enforced,” says PETA India Emergency Response Team Associate Manager Meet Ashar. “The psychological trauma and physical torment these malnourished and weak horses must have endured is hard to imagine.”
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – points out in its letter to the commissioner of police that the High Court of Bombay ruled in a 2015 judgment that none of the stables for horses used for joy rides and other purposes in Mumbai possess a licence under Section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. The group also referred to a 2016 Rajasthan High Court order which banned tonga races in the state of Rajasthan following a report submitted by the Animal Welfare Board of India, which pointed out that cruelty to horses is inherent when they are forced to run amidst the chaos of vehicles and while spectators shout – which they find frightening and distressing – as they were during the illegal race at Gorai Beach.