John Abraham has written an article for PETA advocating the ban on horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai. Earlier, he had written to the government to ban horse-drawn carriages to protect the animals from exhaustion and abuse. The final hearing of the case in which PETA and other NGOs are calling for a ban on cruel horse carriages from the city is on January 23.
Excerpts from John’s letter
“We caring Mumbaiites know that horses aren’t equipment or inanimate objects. They are living beings who are capable of feeling pain and suffering and whose legs and feet are not made for concrete roads. They need to graze instead of being given rotten food and dirty water. They often collapse from dehydration or from being pushed past the point of exhaustion. The pathetic condition of this horse opened my eyes to the plight of all the hungry and thirsty horses who are forced to haul heavy carriages full of misguided people through the city’s streets, where they pose a traffic hazard and are often hit by cars. I have written a letter on behalf of my friends at PETA to the government in favour of a ban. I raise my voice against overloaded Victorias when I see them, and like many Mumbaiites, even when the horses aren’t working, there is no relief.
At best, horses are housed in filthy, wet, ramshackle unlicensed stables that also pose a human health risk. At worst, they are simply left out in the open with no protection from the elements. The enforcement of existing animal-protection laws is lax, and animal-protection NGOs are overwhelmed with cruelty cases in the city. When they try to confiscate horses used to haul Victorias for veterinary care or because of violations of the law, they are often attacked. It’s high time we followed Delhi’s lead by banishing cruel Victorias from Mumbai’s streets.”