Animal welfare activists seek ban on horse carriages along Alibaug beach

Horse carriages are made to ply tourists through waist-deep water,notice sent to collector.

Written by Aakriti Vasudeva | Published: May 8, 2012 2:31:39 am

Horse carriages are made to ply tourists through waist-deep water,notice sent to collector.

Following no movement on their complaint against horse carriages made to ply through waist-deep sea water at Alibaug beach,the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO) has now sent a legal notice to the District Collector of Raigad on the issue and has asked for a ban on such practices at all beaches in the area.

“Since there was no action taken post our letter to the district collector in February,we have now sent a formal complaint under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code so that immediate action is taken,” said Shakuntala Majhumdar,governing body member of FIAPO. “Apart from a ban on the practice near Kolaba fort,this time we have asked for a ban on horse carriages across all beaches in Alibaug,” she said.

The complaint terms the activity as a public nuisance since it puts human life at risk and amounts to cruelty against the animals under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960. “It is an eminent threat to both the horse and people on the carriage. To the horse,because it is forced to pull a heavy load through waist deep sea water and to the people,because in case the horse slips and the carriage falls,it may cause them serious injury,especially to children and the elderly,” said Ambika Hiranandani,FIAPO’s lawyer. The complaint is made under Section 133 of the CrPC as it gives the district magistrate power to ban an activity which he considers public nuisance.

Newsline had reported on February 23 that FIAPO had complained against carriage drivers at Alibaug beach forcing horses to ply through waist deep sea water to ferry tourists to and from Kolaba fort,which is about a kilometer from the beach and becomes accessible by foot during low tide. When Newsline visited the spot,an estimated 30 to 40 such carts were found on the beach with two horses each. Experts said saline water can cause dryness of hoof of the horses leading to lameness and since horses cannot see the depth of water,fatal injuries can take place. Besides,carrying such heavy loads is abusive to them.

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