Photo Opportunity: Actor Adah Sharma and ‘Horse’ to Join PETA Members in Saying ‘Implement Ban on Victorias’

For Immediate Release:
3 June 2016

Neerja Khede; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Authorities Urged to Heed Public Demand and Remove Dangerous Horse-Drawn Carriages From Mumbai’s Streets

Mumbai –Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will converge in Mumbai just before the one-year anniversary of the 8 June 2015 Bombay High Court ruling that horse-drawn carriages must be phased out of Mumbai within a year. Standing in front of a large clock with a banner that reads, “Time Is Running Out: Relegate Victorias to History”, the protesters, including a “horse”, will be led by film star Adah Sharma and will urge authorities to expedite the finalisation and implementation of a rehabilitation plan for the carriage owners and drivers and the overworked horses. They will also call on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to close the stables quickly. Adah is known for her work in both Hindi and South Indian cinema. Her latest project is Commando 2.

When: Monday, 6 June, 11 am sharp

Where: The Carter Road Amphitheatre, diagonally opposite Café Coffee
Day and near the police station, Carter Road, Bandra(West), Mumbai 400 050

In April, the Supreme Court allowed for horse-drawn carriages to ply for the next six months or until the review petition is finally decided by the Bombay High Court, whichever is earlier.The Appellate Court also called for the Maharashtra state government to present its plan for the rehabilitation of the carriage owners and drivers. PETA India was an intervener in the Bombay High Court matter which resulted in the directive that the Victorias be phased out, and the organisation was also represented in the Supreme Court.

“We are now calling on the Maharashtra government to take notice of the Supreme Court directive and quickly finalise and present a rehabilitation plan for the horses and a plan for the carriage owners and drivers before the Bombay High Court immediately”,says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA India’s numerous investigations have found that Mumbai’s Victoria industry is inherently cruel and dangerous, and any delay in implementing the rehabilitation plan for horse-drawn carriage owners would mean another day that the horses will pose a traffic risk and suffer on the road.”

According to a 31 May 2016 Mumbai Mirror report, “The state will urge Victoria carriage owners to give up their joyride business, and horses, in exchange for taxi or auto permits, a promising initiative that seeks to rehabilitate 140 such cart riders”.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – had provided the Bombay High Court with reports of cruelty to horses from its numerous inspections of Mumbai’s horse-drawn Victoria industry and information about traffic accidents and hazards the Victorias cause. These reports reveal that the horses were often injured, sick or severely malnourished and that they were forced to stand amidst their own waste in filthy and decrepit stables. The reports also reveal that the horses were frequently denied adequate rest, water and veterinary care. In addition, forcing horses to spend their entire lives on pavement – when they are meant to walk on grass – is inherently cruel. Once horses lose function in a joint, as quickly happens when they’re made to walk on pavement or haul heavy loads, more stress is placed on the other joints, tendons and ligaments. As a result, the healthy parts of the legs are subjected to wear and tear, eventually leading to inflammation of all the joints, tendons and ligaments. No medication or surgery can cure this condition, and it cannot be reversed.

In Delhi, the government moved tonga drivers into other professions by providing them with open access to tehbazari sites and financial assistance to buy auto rickshaws.

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

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