For Immediate Release:
24 July 2013
Mumbai – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has just released reports on its latest investigations of filthy and decrepit Mumbai stables that house horses used to pull carriages, in advance of Thursday’s Bombay High Court hearing for the case in which PETA and other non-governmental organisations are calling for a ban on Victorias in the city. Shocking photos reveal horses – some of whom are injured, sick or severely malnourished – who are forced to stand amidst their own urine and faeces on trash-strewn floors.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, authorised the inspections of Mumbai’s three largest stables, at Kamathipura, Nariman Point and PD Mello Road, near the Dargah, all of which are unlicensed. The inspections were conducted by Dr Avinash S Patil, senior veterinary officer for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai; Dr Manilal Valliyate, PETA India’s director of veterinary affairs and co-opted member of the AWBI, and Dr Chetan Yadav, clinical quality-assurance manager for Animal Rahat, an organisation that offers relief to animals forced to work. Sunil Havaldar, honorary animal welfare officer for the AWBI and senior animal welfare officer for Animal Rahat, was also part of the team.
“The suffering of these horses doesn’t end after they’re through being forced to pull heavy loads through Mumbai’s dangerous streets all day, including through the monsoon rains”, says PETA’s Dr Valliyate. “All they have to look forward to at the end of a gruelling day of hard labour is being forced to wallow in filth in these despicable stables that don’t even have licences to exist.”
The following are just a few of the inspectors’ findings:
• Faeces and urine had accumulated on the stable floors, attracting flies. Drainage was either absent or blocked.
• Horses were tightly bound by their legs and heads, allowing them little to no movement. They were forced to stand amid their own waste on broken, uneven floors.
• Feed troughs and mangers were filthy and lacked fresh food.
• The water kept in open, plastic containers was muddy, contaminated and unfit to drink.
• Some horses were so malnourished that their bones were protruding. Others were injured and otherwise debilitated with a body condition score of “very thin”.
• Conditions apparently violate The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960’s hygiene rules and basic standards of animal housing and the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, as the stables are not licensed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. These stables were so atrocious that they present a threat to public health.
The reports and high-resolution photographs from the reports are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.