Updated: September 3, 2021 12:16:51 pm
An investigation is in progress at Telangana’s Abdullapurmet police station to find out the circumstances that led to the death of a horse during a film shoot.
A case was registered based on a complaint from Prevention of Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on August 18.
The horse died on August 11 on the sets of Ponniyin Selvan, a historical drama being directed and co-produced by filmmaker Mani Ratnam. The film stars Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachan, Trisha, Prakash Raj, Karthi, and others.
Detective Sub-Inspector G Veerabhadraiah of Abdullapurmet police station told indianexpress.com that a complaint regarding the death of a horse during a film shoot was received a week after the incident. According to him, PETA India has alleged that two horses collided head-on during the film shoot and one of them died.
“We have registered a case against the horse owner and the production company, Madras Talkies, and started an investigation. The horse owner says his horse died of Colic, a case of abdominal pain that is the cause of death in a majority of horses. However, we are investigating the cause of death,” the official said. The film crew had already finished the schedule and left by the time a complaint was received by the police.
The film crew had valid permissions for the shoot at Anajpur village near Ramoji Film City for 10 days, he added. Soon after the horse died, a postmortem examination was conducted on the horse and carcass buried. “When we exhumed the body, it was already putrefied. We have sought the statement from the veterinary doctor who conducted the PME,” he said.
In a statement, PETA India said the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has called on the district collector of Hyderabad and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board and sought an inquiry into the death. The police have registered a case against Madras Talkies and the horse owner under Section 11 of the PCA Act, 1960, and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
PETA has alleged that the owner allowed producers of the film to keep using horses who were tired and dehydrated. The organisation has also offered a reward of Rs 25,000 to anyone who would submit a video or photograph of the incident that led to the horse’s death. Such evidence should be shared with PETA India at Info@petaindia.org.
“In the age of computer-generated imagery (CGI), production companies have no excuse for forcing exhausted horses to play at war until one of them drops dead,” said PETA India Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta in the statement.
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