Help Shut Down Cruel Horse and Donkey Facilities

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In 2015, veterinarians and a scientist from PETA India and other groups were authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India to inspect 10 facilities that produce antitoxins and antivenins. 

With the exception of one that outsources its work, all the facilities extract large volumes of blood from horses, donkeys,or mules. The inspectors observed many animals suffering from anaemia, bleeding and infected wounds, and other serious health problems. 


Inspectors documented numerous apparent violations of laws and guidelines. Most of the facilities were not even registered with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) to conduct these procedures on animals. Pregnant mares and foals were found at some of the facilities that were not officially registered as breeders.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, requires people who are responsible for animals to take all reasonable measures to ensure their well-being and to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering.  

But inspectors found that the animals in these facilities suffered from health problems and were fearful and anxious. When approached by humans, many of them struggled to get away. Common physical problems included diseased hooves, malnourishment, infections, parasites, swollen limbs, abnormal gaits, and eye abnormalities such as blindness. Basic husbandry procedures such asdental care and hoof trimming appeared to be ignored, and improper tools were used for grooming. 

The facilities often used painfully large needles in order to collect blood more quickly. 

Horse 48 at the King Institute is blind in the left eye.

This horse from the King Institute is missing part of his hoof (called the “frog”), and the hoof is infested with maggots.

Horse 299 from the King Institute has acute laminitis, is very thin, and has numerous pressure ulcers from being unable to stand for very long.

At the King Institute, horses’ head collars are damaged and jury-rigged with temporary repairs, which poses a danger to them.

At the King Institute, horses’ head collars are damaged and jury-rigged with temporary repairs, which poses a danger to them.

At Premium Serums, this animal appears to be suffering from anaemia or an infection, as evidenced by the pale mucous membranes.

At Premium Serums, this animal appears to be suffering from anaemia or an infection, as evidenced by the pale mucous membranes.

The equines’ teeth are neglected at Premium Serums.

A mule at Premium Serums has a deep lesion damaging both the muscle and the tendon.

The frog is absent from the right foreleg hoof of horse 683 at Premium Serums.

Mule P2 at Premium Serums has osteoarthritis in the left knee.

This horse at Mediclone is blind.

At Mediclone, horse 53 has a deep elbow wound.

This equine at Mediclone is malnourished and has an abnormal gait.

This mare at Mediclone is seven months pregnant.

Horse 412 at Mediclone has a swollen fetlock joint on the right hind leg.

Horse A248 at Bharat Serums has open wounds that have been left untreated.

This animal at Bharat Serums has corneal opacity in the right eye and swelling of the lower lid.

Abnormal mucous membrane colour is indicative of anaemia or a systemic infection.

This animal at Bharat Serums has an abnormal hoof shape.

Horse 853 from Haffkine has swelling and a wound on the right eye suggesting habronemiasis, a skin disease.

Donkey 817 at Haffkine has a raw, open lesion.

Mule 341 at Haffkine has healed lesions on the knees.

The frog is missing from the right foreleg hoof of donkey 817 at Haffkine.

Horse 41 at Haffkine has a hole in the left ear that was put there to hold an identification tag.

Stallion 980 at Raut Serum has an abnormally shaped hoof.

Stallion 848 at Raut Serum has deep lesions damaging both muscles and tendons.

Lice eggs have infested the forelock and mane of horse B 52 at Raut Serum.

This animal from Raut Serum has a body condition score of 1 (very thin).

Horse 1043 at RautSerum has a damaged hoof wall in the hind hooves.

Swelling of part of this equine’s eye at VINS is suggestive of habronemiasis.

These animals at VINS have open wounds caused by hot branding.

These animals at VINS have open wounds caused by hot branding.

Ticks were found inside the ears of the equines at VINS.

Equine A 34 at VINS has swelling of the flexor tendon of the left hind limb.

Horse 498 at VINS lies on the ground, has difficulty standing, and has problems with gait coordination.

These animals at VINS have open wounds caused by hot branding.

Pony 549 at Biological E has a purulent discharge from the left eye.

The skin and immediate subcutaneous layers are broken on horse 2 at Biological E.

Mule 601 at Biological E has osteoarthritis and exostosis of the knee joints.The animal shows signs of lameness and hasa poor gait.

This animal at Biological E has a severe canker soreon his right hind foot and a “very thin” body condition score. He is also unable to bear weight on his limbs as a result of severe lameness.

An injury from being bitten can be seen on the left upper eyelid of Pony 193 at Biological E.

 

The CPCSEA guidelines state that horses and other equines need sand baths, daily exercise, daily grooming, the opportunity to socialise, open fields for grazing, and clean bedding for respite from hard concrete floors. But the animals at these facilities were typically kept in crowded, barren paddocks and often tied with ropes that severely limited their movement.Many were forced to stand and lie in their own urine and faeces, and some suffered from "capped elbow", a painful inflammation and swelling of the joint caused by lying on hard floors.

You can help prevent horses, mules, and donkeys from being abused and exploited by urging the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and theCPCSEA to deny or cancel the companies' animal-experimentation registration renewals and immediately revoke their licences to manufacture biological products.Please also urge the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to transition to non-animal methods of antitoxin and antivenin production.

 
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