For Immediate Release:
19 August 2013
PETA Request Prompts Officials to State – in Writing – That Cruel and Dangerous Relics Will Not Be Allowed Near Historical Monuments
Delhi – After being reminded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi issued a directive in 2010 to phase out tonga (two-wheeled) carriages driven by horse, pony or mule, Dr RBS Tyagi, Deputy Director of Veterinary Services for the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), has informed PETA that the SDMC will uphold the ban. Earlier, the SDMC had indicated that use of the cruel and dangerous carriages near high-tourist areas was still under consideration. In a letter to Dr Manilal Valliyate, PETA’s director of veterinary affairs, Dr Tyagi wrote that the “South Delhi Municipal Corporation has no plan to allow horse drawn carriages to transport tourists near historical monuments”. PETA had originally reported the matter to the Public Grievances Commission of Delhi, the traffic police and the principal secretary for the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation. The effort was aided by MP Maneka Gandhi, who spoke with several Delhi government officials.
“SDMC’s decision is an important victory for horses, who suffer when they’re forced to pull heavy loads through the stifling-hot streets as well as for passengers and pedestrians, some of whom have been seriously injured by these relics of the past”, says Dr Valliyate. “Even when these horses aren’t being forced to work, they are kept in atrocious conditions that harm their health even more.”
Horses forced to haul passengers are frequently denied adequate rest, food and water. They are kept in filthy, damp stables with biting insects or left to stand outdoors without any shade. Most never see a veterinarian in their lifetime. Amongst the findings of PETA’s 2012 investigation of horses used to pull carriages in Mumbai were overloaded horses who were routinely whipped to make them move faster and many horses whose joints were so sore or swollen that they continually lifted their legs in order to relieve the pain.
PETA’s correspondence with the various Delhi agencies is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.