Actress Jacqueline Fernandez has sent
a letter to the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, asking him to
stop "cruel" horse-drawn carriage rides in the city, on behalf
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
The letter by the Bollywood star and former Miss Sri
Lanka comes in the wake of a recent incident in which a horse
collapsed after being forced to pull a heavy carriage near
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, "an all-too-common occurrence
among horses who are used for joy rides in the city," a
PETA release said.
"I have observed so many similar heartbreaking incidents,
and I can't be a silent spectator to this abuse anymore",
She goes on to discuss a PETA investigation which found
that horses used for carriage rides were kept in filthy, damp
stables and left to stand amidst their own feces and urine.
"Horses simply don't belong on the streets, and they
certainly don't deserve to be forced to pull carriages beyond
the point of exhaustion", she wrote. "I urge you to please
take immediate action to stop this cruel form of
PETA investigators also discovered that horses are fed
unwholesome food and dirty drinking water if they receive
any nourishment at all, the release said. Stables are often
infested with flies and other biting insects attracted by the
animals' waste. Many horses are forced to work and stand for
hours in the blazing sun without any shade, it added.
Carts are also dangerous as horses must negotiate busy
streets clogged with cars, bikes and pedestrians and are often
involved in deadly accidents. Over the years, many horses and
even people have been seriously injured and killed, PETA said.