Kolkata, Sep 19 : The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal informed a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday that it would submit a report on the steps taken by it for ensuring treatment of the carriage-hauling horses in Kolkata by November 21.
Earlier on Monday, the counsel for PETA India, Arunima Kedia, informed the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj that the state government has made an attempt to contradict a report of the court-appointed committee that exposed the deplorable heath condition of such horses in Kolkata.
According to Kedia, on September 12, the court-appointed committee consisting of representatives of state animal resources development department, Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA India, CAPE Foundation and horse owners, carried out a scheduled assessment of horses in and around Victoria Memorial, Maidan, and Hastings area.
Kedia claimed that the detailed report submitted by the committee members established that out of the 50 horses observed over about five hours, 92 per cent were extremely thin with poor body condition, while 100 per cent had swelling on one or both hind limbs, and 66 per cent had swelling on one or both fore limbs.
A vast majority of them had various foot problems owing to spending their lives doing gruelling work on concrete. The report, which includes photographs and records of each horse observed, said these conditions would deem these horses unfit for tourist rides. It also said that many horses were being used to haul carriages illegally, i.e., without required licence.
“However, the state animal resources department made an unscheduled visit on short notice on September 13 and hurriedly created a separate two-page report falsely showing 24 horses in the Victoria Memorial and Maidan area and 40 horses in the Hastings area in good condition. In reality, during this visit which lasted for only 50 minutes, no actual inspection or medical assessment of any horse was carried out,” Kedia alleged.
After hearing all the parties concerned, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court scheduled November 21 as the next date of hearing and directed the state government to submit a report on steps taken by it for ensuring proper treatment of carriage-hauling horses in Kolkata.(IANS)