Kolkata: Kolkata Police have registered an FIR against a horse owner and an event management company for allegedly using a wounded horse in a marriage ceremony.
The deep wounds on the horse’s legs, which were reportedly caused by a road accident, were hidden with lime. Just two weeks ago, an FIR was registered against a carriage owner and his accomplices for allegedly treating a horse with negligence after the animal collapsed on the busy road in front of the Victoria Memorial.
The FIR was lodged on Monday following a complaint lodged by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and the CAPE Foundation, which shared videos and screenshots of the incident, an investigative video of Kolkata horses’ plight, and a factsheet on road accidents in the City involving horses, among other evidence.
The two FIRs have been registered under multiple sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and the Indian Penal Code.
The owners of the horses were negligent regarding their nutrition and care and caused them unnecessary pain and suffering.
“Forcing often malnourished, thirsty and wounded horses to haul people in carriages and for rides through city traffic is cruel and dangerous. Horse-drawn carriages are already prohibited in Mumbai and horse-drawn tongas are banned in Delhi because horses and cars do not mix,” said PETA India veterinarian Nithin Krishnegowda.
“The very act of forcing these horses to ply on Kolkata’s busy roads is permanently damaging the animals’ health,” said Radhika Bose, managing trustee of the CAPE Foundation.
“Regulation has failed, and now it’s time to give these horses relief by permanently removing them from Kolkata’s roads and rehabilitating them in sanctuaries,” Bose added.
A recent report by PETA India and the CAPE Foundation revealed that more than 100 horses used for rides in the City are anaemic, malnourished, and chronically starved; some suffer from severe injuries, including bone fractures; and many are forced to live amid their own waste on filthy, decrepit and illegally occupied premises in the City, including an encroachment area under a flyover.
A factsheet in the report lists 10 road accidents in Kolkata involving horses, highlighting the dangers of using them to haul tourists. Such accidents cause the animals unnecessary pain and suffering and pose potential safety risks to the passengers in the carriage and commuters on the road.