Mumbai: Jacqueline Fernandes 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", writes Fernandez.
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 entertainment."
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.