'Un-stable' conditions for ailing city horses

Dec 07, 2011, 08:00 IST | Saurabh Katkurwar

The new shed that the NGO has suggested for the transfer of the 170 horses to be seized by BMC has no electricity or water to ensure their well being

Animal lovers who rejoiced after the Bombay High Court ordered the seizure of horses residing at unlicensed stables and pulling carriages, will not be too pleased as the stable provided by the Animal and Birds Charitable Trust (ABCT), the NGO that filed the PIL, has no facilities to keep the horses, including no electricity or water. 

Pitiable conditions: The new horse shed that ABCT has suggested for
the seized horses is situated on a 7 acre plot, but has no water or
electricity making it unsuitable for the animals

The stable that they have suggested is housed on a 7-acre piece of land on the Mumbai-Pune Highway, 15 km away Panvel.

However, the plot is uneven and provides no measures to ensure that the horses will be well protected.

Varsha Rokade, legal advisor of ABCT, said, "We offered the plot to ensure that the 170 horses will be well maintained after they are seized by the BMC officials. We will construct the shed and make fodder available to the horses. But any other facility that is necessary for a stable will be constructed by the civic authority and the state government."

On the other hand, BMC officials said that the decision would be taken only after the court hearing on December 7 and that they were still drawing up an action plan for seizure of the horses in consultation with ABCT.

'Court's decision
Anil Bandivadekar, executive health officer of BMC, said, "We have narrowed down on the plot of ABCT near Panvel, but the final decision will be taken only after the court hearing on December 7. We are still holding meetings with the NGO on shifting of the horses. It is an ongoing process."  

Meanwhile, another NGO in the city has questioned if both BMC and ABCT is ready to for the transfer of the horses. "Both the BMC and ABCT should already have proper facilities in place for the horses. ABCT had filed the PIL in the court because the horses were being ill-treated and kept in pitiable conditions. So what is use of the exercise of seizing horses if standard facilities can't be provided to them," said an animal activist. 

 The entire incident came to light after the Animal and Birds Charitable Trust filed a PIL in the High Court about the horses.

On November 23, the judges directed the BMC to seize the horses that resided in unlicensed stables.

No horsing around
According to regulations not more than 100 horses should reside in a single stable. The premises should be cleaned twice everyday and horse dung should be allowed to pass into the drain of the stable. The rules also state that hay, grass should not be kept inside the stable.

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