Victoria joyrides illegal, one year to phase them out in Mumbai: HC

MUMBAI: Victoria joyrides on Mumbai streets will be a thing of the past in exactly a year’s time. In a victory for animal rights activists, the Bombay high court on Monday declared that horse drawn carriages in Mumbai are illegal. The court has given the horse drawn carriages a year’s time to phase out services. The court has further directed the state to come up with a rehabilitation plan for the horses, its owners and riders.The court was hearing a public interest litigation filrd by Animal and Birds Charitable Trust seeking a ban on Victrorias on city roads. The PIL claimed that overwork, malnutrition, and lack of proper care are the common owes plaguing the horses. The HC had earlier given the the BMC the go ahead to confiscate unfit and unlicensed horses, who would be handed over to NGOs like PETA for rehabilitation.At an earlier hearing of the case, the state informed the high court that it had issued licenses to only 18 carriages. Of the 53 applications for licenses 35 were rejected on the basis of offences against the carriage drivers, horses not being fit, cruelty having been committed to the animals, overloading and other illegalities.The court in November 2012 had ruled that those carriage owners who had failed to renew their license would not be allowed to ply. According to the figures submitted to the court during the hearing of the PIL there are 170 horses and 130 Victoria horse carriages in the city.

Source: Mumbai News