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Rajasthan High Court Upholds The Ban on Tonga Races

12/19/2017 12:01:43 PM

Following Intervention by PETA many Horses ill be spared suffering

 

Jaipur – Today, a Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court, which included Justices Govind Mathur and Nirmaljit Kaur, passed an order dismissing the modification application filed by the Rajasthan state government, stating that there are no grounds on which the order of that same court dated 6 January 2016, which banned tonga races across Rajasthan, could be modified.

Appearing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, whose intervention application was filed on Monday, Senior Advocate Rajesh Joshi and Advocate Harshit Bhurani pointed out that PETA is also an intervener in the Supreme Court matter on tonga races and that, in the affidavit filed by the state in the Supreme Court, the state had categorically agreed that tonga races are inherently cruel to horses. The High Court noted that before the Supreme Court, the state accepted the 6 January 2016 High Court ban on tonga races, and in today’s order, the court concluded that no material was made available to contradict the findings of experts from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) about cruelty against horses during tonga races. With this order, tonga races continue to be banned in Rajasthan.

On 6 January 2016, the Rajasthan High Court banned tonga races following a report submitted by the AWBI – a statutory body constituted under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and overseen by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The AWBI also wrote to the Government of Rajasthan urging it to ensure strict compliance and effective implementation of the court’s order. A Special Leave Petition, which seeks to challenge the ban imposed by the Rajasthan High Court, is currently with the Supreme Court. The state of Rajasthan has filed its response in this matter, stating that it doesn’t support cruel tonga races and stands by the AWBI report and the order of the High Court.

“Justice prevails for horses,” says PETA India Legal Associate Mans Gaur. “Horses used for tonga races already face a difficult life, and there’s simply no excuse for hitting them with whips and torturing them by vigorously pulling the spiked bits in their mouths. The AWBI has documented that cruelty to horses is inherent when they’re forced to run on hard concrete or a tarred road, amidst the chaos of heavy traffic and shouting spectators – which the horses find frightening and distressing. PETA will continue its work until such cruel and illegal spectacles are relegated to the history books across the country.”


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