Victory: Bombay High Court Ban Horse-Drawn Victorias Following Efforts by PETA, Other Groups

For Immediate Release:
8 June 2015

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Mumbai’s Busy Streets to Be Free of Dangerous Contraptions Within One Year

Mumbai – Today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India can announce that the Bombay High Court directed that horse carriages be phased out in Mumbai within a year. The victory follows many years of campaigning by PETA India, which intervened, along with People for Animals (PFA), in the Public Interest Litigation filed by Animals and Birds Charitable Trust (ABCT). M/s K Ashar & Co Advocates & Solicitors were the advocates on record for PETA, and the group was represented in the matter by Senior Counsel Jayaprakash Sen. PFA were represented by Senior Counsel Shiraz Rustomjee while ABCT were represented by Advocate Firoz Bharucha. Previously, the Mumbai traffic police had restricted where and when the Victorias could be used in the city, but the dozens of challans issued by the traffic police for violations over just a few months revealed the ineffectiveness of the partial ban.

“The High Court’s decision is an important victory, both for the horses who will soon no longer be forced to haul heavy loads through Mumbai’s busy streets and for the passersby, who will no longer risk being injured or killed because of these dangerous contraptions and the traffic hazard they cause”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “As PETA’s numerous investigations found, Mumbai’s Victoria industry is inherently cruel and dangerous, and we applaud the order of the honourable court to ensure that Victorias will ultimately no longer ply in Mumbai.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – provided the court with evidence of cruelty to horses from its numerous investigations of Mumbai’s horse-drawn Victoria industry. These reports revealed 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. Reports further revealed that the horses were frequently denied adequate rest, water and veterinary care. Also, forcing horses to spend their entire lives on pavement – when they are meant to walk on grass – is inherently cruel. Once a horse lose function in a joint, as quickly happens when they’re made to walk on pavement or haul heavy loads, more stress will be 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 veterinary medicine or surgery can cure this condition and it cannot be reversed.

The court’s decision is supported by numerous celebrities, including Anushka Sharma, Arjun Rampal, Zeenat Aman, Hema Malini, Mahesh Bhatt, John Abraham, Pooja Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sunny Leone, Dino Morea and choreographer Sandip Soparrkar and his supermodel wife, Jesse Randhawa, as well as many others who took to Twitter, met with concerned government officials or helped in other ways to rid Mumbai of horse-drawn Victorias.

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