Bombay High Court asks Maharashtra government to formulate policy for welfare of horses

Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to come up with a comprehensive policy for the welfare of horses that would now stop pulling the carriages of the iconic Victoria rides.

A Division Bench of Chief Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar heard a bunch of petitions that highlighted the issue. The government had on Thursday submitted an affidavit informing the judges that a policy has been firmed up to rehabilitate the owners and riders of these Victorias.

According to this policy, these owners would be compensated with a monetary aide up to Rs 3 lakh. The affidavit also said that these owners and riders would be given a licence as a ‘vendor’ under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending in Maharashtra) Act. The affidavit also said the owners would be at liberty to either sell their horses or to hand over them to some NGOs.

Having heard the submissions, the Bench asked the government’s Department of Animal Husbandry to formulate a comprehensive welfare policy for the care and protection of these more than 200 horses affected by the rehabilitation plan. The judges have granted three months period for the same.

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