The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to seize Victoria carriage horses which are reported as suffering from physical ailments or injuries and to keep them in its custody till they recover.
The court also has directed that if an owner does not bring the horse on the orders of the BMCs executive health officer,the civic body should detain the horse on its own.
In the order which has been passed on Thursday,the petitioners in the case,NGO Animals and Birds Charitable Trust,have been asked to identify horses that are suffering from such ailments and report them to the BMC executive health officer. The judges further directed that until the horse was fully treated,they should not be allowed to pull carriages. In its PIL,the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust has taken up the issue of unhealthy living conditions and ill-treatment of horses which pull the citys iconic Victoria carriages. The NGO pointed out that several drivers and most horse stables in the city are not licensed.
The High Court,responding to the petition,had directed that horses which have been put up in unlicensed stables should be seized by the BMC. The order was passed in November last year.
Subsequently,a survey report of the BMC which was placed on record in the case also stated that living conditions of most stables in the island city are unsatisfactory.
In successive hearings of the case,the issues of the health of the horses and the rehabilitation of drivers,who would stand to lose their occupation because of the court order,have been discussed.