For Immediate Release:
13 June 2012
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Even the Drivers Want to Retire Cruel and Dangerous Horse-Drawn Carriages, Says Group
Kalyan West, Maharashtra – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent an urgent letter to Shri RK Sonawane, commissioner of the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation, urging him to ban the use of horse-drawn carriages in Kalyan and advise the Regional Transport Officer to issue permits to carriage owners who wish to switch to auto rickshaws. PETA’s letter follows news reports that the city’s horse-drawn carriage operators have applied for motorised rickshaw permits because of increasing costs and traffic concerns.
“Forcing horses to pull open carriages through congested traffic on hot streets is not only cruel but also dangerous – for the horses, carriage occupants and passers-by”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Banning horse-drawn carriages and permitting current drivers to switch to auto rickshaws would make Kalyan’s streets safer, reduce animal suffering and allow the drivers to earn a better living.”
There have been numerous accidents in which both horses and humans have been seriously injured or even killed because of horse-drawn carriages. Recently, a horse used to pull a carriage skidded at Gateway of India in Mumbai and seriously injured two passengers. In September, another horse pulling a carriage collapsed from exhaustion and was unable to stand for 20 minutes.
Horses used to pull carriages are forced to haul passengers in sweltering heat and extreme cold and are frequently denied adequate rest, food and water. They are often kept in filthy, damp stables infested with biting insects. They often collapse when they are too worn out to continue and are repeatedly whipped in an effort to get them back on their feet. Most never see a veterinarian in their lifetime, and regulations pertaining to animals forced to work are almost never enforced.
A growing number of cities worldwide – including Delhi, Toronto, London, Oxford, Paris and Beijing – have banned horse-drawn carriages.
PETA’s letter to the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.