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Choking Exhaust & Sweltering Heat Cripple Horses: Keep Mounted Police Ban in Mumbai!

Choking Exhaust & Sweltering Heat Cripple Horses: Keep Mounted Police Ban in Mumbai!

Mumbai, India is one of the world’s busiest cities, and widely-known for its traffic. Shockingly, city officials are considering bringing police horses into this chaos, where they will regularly be at serious risk of being injured or killed. Join IDA India in making an urgent appeal to protect these gentle animals — we can’t let horses be put at risk on Mumbai’s streets!

The city’s mounted police program was originally ended back in 1932 because the growing number of cars left little room for horses to safely patrol Mumbai. Unfortunately, despite rapid growth in the area since then, plans are unbelievably underway to bring them back!

Mumbai is simply no place for horses. If there wasn’t room for horses on the streets 88 years ago, there certainly isn’t now. Traffic has since increased exponentially; in recent years, as many as 700 cars are registered in Mumbai every single day.

Large and small roads are congested with cars and motorcycles throughout the day, while near-constant construction throughout Mumbai adds to the chaos. Both of those factors have added to regularly high air and noise pollution levels, while the heat alone will be unbearable for horses in the summer.

The Mumbai Police now intend to deploy 30 horses as part of a new mounted police program, without any evidence that horses will be a better solution to controlling crowds, or other situations where police may be needed.

Horses would also be regularly exposed to masses of people, especially during major festivals, and the results can be deadly. Just a few years ago, a police horse in Uttarakhand, India, was attacked during a protest. He later died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Similar incidents around the world have put both horses and people at risk. During a recent protest in London, a bicycle and other objects were thrown at a mounted police horse; the officer was seriously injured after falling, and the horse bolted and knocked down a protester. At an anti-racism protest in Texas, a police officer used a horse to trample a protester. 

Those risks aside, it’s also extremely worrying that there are no standards for when horses will be retired, and no plan in place to ensure they’re cared for after they do. Retired police dogs currently have no safety net when they get old or injured and are unable to work. The Mumbai Police currently relies on volunteer animal rescuers to provide for animals who have become injured or too old to serve. Rehoming and retiring police horses will be substantially more difficult and costly, which creates potentially unacceptable outcomes for them.

With modern-day solutions readily available to keep people safe, there’s no reason for police to use horses and subject them to the noise, traffic, exhaust fumes, heat and everyday commotion found in India’s largest city.

What You Can Do

Please join In Defense of Animals and our rescue partners at In Defense of Animals India in calling on the Home Minister of Maharashtra to ask him not to bring the mounted police program back by filling out the fields on this page to send our letter.

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