PETA India Seeks Custody of Victoria Horses Seized by Mumbai Police

For Immediate Release:

7 September 2018


Meet Ashar; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Six Horses Were Illegally Abused for Carriage Rides, in Violation of the 2015 Bombay High Court Order

Mumbai – Yesterday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India filed an application in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Esplanade, seeking custody of six horses illegally forced to haul carriages who were seized by the Mumbai police on 2 September with support from PETA India’s emergency response staff. In the application, the group also seeks the court’s permission to rehabilitate the horses at a reputable sanctuary.

The Marine Drive police seized five horses from Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, and the Cuffe Parade police seized one horse from Free Press Journal Marg. The horse rescued by the Cuffe Parade police is suspected to be suffering from tetanus and has been hospitalised at the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Parel, while the other five are recuperating at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Malad cattle pound, and PETA India is assisting with their care. The police filed a First Information Report under Sections 3 and 11(1)(a) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

“PETA India is working to ensure these horses will never face a whip or be forced to haul a heavy carriage in the searing heat and monsoon rains again,” says Meet Ashar, PETA India’s emergency response coordinator. “Mumbai’s Victoria rides are banned for good reason – they’re inherently cruel and pose a traffic risk – and we thank the city’s police for their work to protect these animals.”

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – supplied evidence to the Bombay High Court of systemic abuse in India’s horse-drawn carriage industry, including that horses were often injured, sick, severely malnourished, and forced to stand amidst their own waste in filthy and decrepit stables. Reports further documented that they were frequently denied adequate rest, water, and veterinary care. Accidents involving horse-drawn carriages have caused numerous injuries, some of which have been fatal, such as the death of a 3-year-old child who was thrown from a carriage in Thane after a passing car startled the horse. And a horse was critically injured after collapsing from exhaustion at the Gateway of India. In June 2015, the High Court 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”.

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