PETA Calls on Bihar Chief Electoral Officer to Remind State’s Political Parties to Refrain from Using Animals

For Immediate Release:
21 September 2015

Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Moves Comes After PETA India Raised Objections to Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Plan to Use Horse-Drawn Carriages in Election Campaigns

Patna – Following a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar sent letters to all political parties in the state reminding them to follow the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) 2012 advisory, which urges parties to refrain from using animals in political campaigns. Letters have also been sent to District Magistrates in all Bihar districts to ensure strict compliance with the ECI advisory. A copy of the letter can be found here.

The move comes after PETA India apprised the Chief Election Commissioner of India and the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar in July 2015 of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav’s plans to use 1,000 tam tams (horse-drawn carriages) for political campaigning. PETA India warned that such an action by the RJD would be against the spirit of the ECI advisory and encouraged authorities to remind political parties not to use animals. The RJD later chose not to use the tam tams.

“Animals used during political campaigns are often forced into crowds, which they find frightening and bewildering. Even worse, they are beaten, whipped, kicked or terrorised while they are paraded through the streets”, says PETA India Chief Executive Officer Poorva Joshipura. “Horses, in particular, are easily frightened by car horns and other loud noises and can bolt, which can be a danger to the public.”

As PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – also pointed out in its letter, animals used in political campaigns can sometimes become spooked, which can result in serious injury to the horses and the people around them. In addition, they are made to carry loads that are too heavy for them and denied adequate food and water.

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