‘Anupamaa’ Actor Rupali Ganguly Joins PETA India in Calling For West Bengal Chief Minister to Nix Horse-Drawn Carriages


‘Anupamaa’ Actor Rupali Ganguly Joins PETA India in Calling For West Bengal Chief Minister to Nix Horse-Drawn Carriages

Kolkata – Appalled by the rising death toll and horrific suffering of horses forced to haul tourists in heavy carriages in Kolkata, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India supporter and Anupamaa actor Rupali Ganguly sent a letter calling on Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee to follow the example of Mumbai by transitioning to the use of beautiful, vintage-style motorised e-carriages in Kolkata.

Ganguly points out that in recent months, at least eight horses have dropped dead on Kolkata’s streets – they were worked to death by the carriage industry. Investigations by PETA India and the CAPE Foundation have documented that dozens of horses forced to haul carriages in Kolkata have been found to be anaemic, malnourished, and chronically starved; suffering from severe injuries, including bone fractures; and forced to live amid their own waste on filthy, decrepit, and illegally occupied premises in the city.

“The use of horses for carriage rides poses a risk to the public and a traffic hazard, too,” writes Ganguly. “Both horses and humans have been seriously injured. Appallingly, horses who sustain painful, serious injuries are often simply abandoned.”

Last year, over 150 veterinarians who reviewed the condition of Kolkata’s horses sent an appeal to Banerjee, requesting that she prohibit horse-drawn carriages. And following complaints from PETA India, the Animal Welfare Board of India directed Kolkata police and the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services to conduct an enquiry into cruelty to horses and ensure that the animals are provided with necessary medical care, removed from the trade, and rehabilitated as required, noting that cruelty to animals is a violation of Section 3 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and a punishable offence under Section 11(1) of the PCA Act and Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

In May, the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court directed the West Bengal state government to present a proposal for rehabilitating horse owners and providing them with an alternative livelihood to hauling tourists in victoria carriages so that “dispensing with the horse drawn carriages as done in Mumbai can be considered and examined for its feasibility”. In Mumbai, beautiful heritage-style e-carriages have replaced horse-drawn carriages.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on XFacebook, or Instagram.

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