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Dhaka Tribune

PAW: Recognize the draft horses’ rights

World Animal Day is celebrated every year on October 4 in order to raise awareness about the protection and rights of animals

Update : 04 Oct 2019, 06:10 PM

Animal rights organization People for Animal Welfare (PAW) has called for the need to include the draft horses’ rights under Labour Act in Bangladesh. 

The demand came from a human chain formed to commemorate the World Animal Day, organized by PAW in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Friday. 

World Animal Day is celebrated every year on October 4 in order to raise awareness about the protection and rights of animals.

The animal rights activists in the human chain were holding placards that read:  "Do not act blindly, and treat us [horses] the way you want to be treated.” 

PAW Founding Chairman Raqibul Haque Emil told Dhaka Tribune that the use of traditional horse carts in Dhaka city, needs to be questioned. 

“These horses are deprived of their rights. They are not fed properly, and do not have shelter. They work tirelessly for people’s recreation and yet are left in abysmal condition,” said Emil. 

Activists hold placards demanding animal rights during a human chain in Dhaka on October 4, 2019 |Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka TribuneWhile talking about the horses' condition in their old age, he said: "The draft horses are left alone to die because they become unable to work, and hence are considered useless by their owners due to aging." 

Emil recommended creating shelters for these draft horses, and demanded strict regulation for them in the Animal Welfare Act 2019. 

Rotna Gomes, director of rescue and rehabilitation of PAW said this year their theme is protecting horses from being abused for people's recreation. 

“However, this is not a new issue. Draft horses have been starved, left in the open in hostile weather for years now," she said. 

"We, PAW, and animal rights activists have taken oath to protest them [horses] against this practice,” she added. 

Animal rights activist Nila Habiba said there is no need for horse carts in Dhaka as there are already plenty of convenient vehicles for people.

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