PETA ‘Horses’ In Coffins to Call for Ban on Cruel Victorias Before High-Court Hearing

For Immediate Release:
21 August 2012

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Bhuvaneshwari Gupta; [email protected]

Horses Used to Haul Victorias Die and Cause Deaths, Says Group

Mumbai – Lying in coffins and wearing horse masks with signs that read, “Worked to Death. Ban Horse Carriages”, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will converge near the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Wednesday. Their point? That horses who are forced to haul carriages have routinely collapsed and been hit by vehicles and that the carriages endanger horses, passengers and passers-by. The protest is set to take place one day before the next High Court of Bombay hearing for the case, in which PETA and two other animal protection nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are calling for the Victorias to be banned:

When: Wednesday, 22 August, 12 noon sharp
Where: Across from the Sea Palace Hotel, PJ Ramchandani Marg, Apollo Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai
Note: The protest will take place rain or shine.

“There are countless examples of horses who have collapsed, been hit by vehicles, sustained severe injuries, died or caused a person’s death in Mumbai”, says PETA India campaign coordinator Bhuvaneshwari Gupta. “The only way to ensure that these gentle animals don’t suffer and that the safety of residents and tourists isn’t placed at risk is to ban horse-drawn carriages once and for all.”

In July, a horse pulling a carriage was critically injured after he collapsed near the Gateway of India on the same day that members of citizens’ group Mumbai for Horses held a silent candlelight vigil outside Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai headquarters, in memory of another horse, Sultan, who died on 1 July after being hit by a taxi. In November 2011, a horse pulling nine riders collapsed outside the Gateway of India, and in September of that year, a horse collapsed at Nariman Point and was unable to stand for 20 minutes.

Per the High Court of Bombay’s 26 July order, NGOs are to assess the health of horses used to pull carriages in Mumbai and report to the executive health officer of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai so that horses can receive veterinary treatment when needed and carriage owners and drivers who commit violations can be charged with cruelty to animals. However, earlier this month, a committee established by the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment & Forests, filed a complaint at the Colaba Police Station against Naresh Kapoor, the lawyer representing the owners and drivers of Mumbai’s horse-drawn carriages, for verbally abusing committee members and encouraging his allies to engage in the same behaviour. In addition, the complaint addresses the way carriage owners and drivers physically abused committee members and stopped them from conducting their inspection.

Mahesh Bhatt, Pooja Bhatt, Arunoday Singh, Munish Makhija, Dino Morea, Sunny Leone, Arunoday Singh, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Zeenat Aman, Hema Malini, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sandip Soparrkar and Jesse Randhawa are among the celebrities who have appealed to authorities to ban Victorias.

For more information, please visit PETA