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Ban animal use in poll campaign: Election Commission

The Election Commission of India (ECI) Wednesday issued an order banning the use of animals by political parties during campaigns.

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) Wednesday issued an order banning the use of animals by political parties during campaigns.

In an advisory issued here, the Election Commission has asked political parties not to use any animals for campaign in any manner, animal rights group said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said that following repeated requests by animal activist, the Election Commission asked political parties and candidates to refrain from using animals for their campaigns.

"The Commission has received representations from certain individuals and organisations alleging that animals like horses, ponies, donkeys, elephants, camels and bulls are subjected to cruelty in different ways in connection with election campaigns," the Election Commission advisory stated.

"It is alleged that the animals are often made to carry loads beyond permissible limits, made to work long hours, and some candidates even paint slogans and election symbols on them using harmful chemicals," the advisory said.

The Election Commission has issued an advisory to all political parties and asked them not to violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

"Bulls, donkeys, elephants and other animals used in election campaigns are commonly beaten, pushed into crowds, overloaded and otherwise abused.

"They are also often undernourished and denied adequate food and water. Wounds and other injuries are common," PETA-India said in a statement.

Welcoming the move by the election commission, Manilal Valliyate, PETA India`s director of veterinary affairs said: "This is a victory for all animals, who are easy targets of abuse as they are routinely paraded through the streets during elections."

"Animals have no political allegiances and do not deserve to be whipped and forced through crowds or bullied by people who don`t agree with the other party`s politics," Valliyate added.


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