Karnataka High Court Issues Notice To Bangalore Turf Club in Response To a PIL

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The Karnataka HC directed the Animal welfare board of India and the Bangalore Turf Club ltd to respond to the recommendations of the inspection report that was made, to set up a state of art horse stable at BTC, and for laying down guidelines on the number of horses to be kept in the turf club.

This direction was passed by a division bench comprising of Justice Satish Chandra and Abhay Srinivas Oka, in response to a PIL petition filed by an NGO named Compassionate Unlimited plus action.

The bench passed the order as Inspector Ravidurg in his inspection report had recommended the construction of a state of art horse stable on a war footing, though he had termed it as satisfactory during the maintenance period.

What did the report state?

The report said that around 80% of the stables were over 50 years old and temporary measures like puff panelling would not work in the long run.

Though the petitioner argued that BTC had violated certain provisions of the Performing animals act 2001, by not providing suitable stables, tracks, veterinary care, etc. the inspection report claimed that the work done by the Chief veterinary officer was “satisfactory”.

However, the report recommended the setting up of the state of art operation theatre, regular training of vets, and filing of vacant posts such as the CVO and the junior veterinarians. The report held that there was no proof based on the allegation that there was any action of withholding food and water for horses even 7 hours prior to the race.

Issue at present

BTC is at present, overcrowded with around 887 horses as of Nov 28th, 2020, and about 600 to 650 syces. As per the report, the infrastructure present is not enough to hold such a large number of horses. The issue was that there were no guidelines issued as to the number of horses to be kept in a particular turf. Thus, the report suggested that the AWBI and the Animal Husbandry issue guidelines as to how many horses are to be kept in a particular turf race club according to how much infrastructure is available.

The report has also directed the authorities to come up with a standard operating rehabilitation procedure for the horses after they serve their racing years. Further hearing has been adjourned till January 29.


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