Saturday, January 26, 2008

Calcutta: 14 police horses to retire, thanks to People for Animals

January 3, 2008 : 1:01 AM
W.B. Police's Riding School's old horses get life-long care

By Debasis Chakrabarti, Founder, Compassionate Crusaders Trust; Managing Trustee, People for Animals Calcutta

It's a rare reprieve for 14 retired horses of the Police Training College, Barrackpore.

These aging animals, unfit for police duty, won't be put down for want of resources and stable space. Instead, they will be taken care of unto death by People for Animals Calcutta, with a part of the fodder funds coming from the Government.

The state finance department has okayed a proposal from the riding school of the Police Training College, which had sought to stop the practice of putting to sleep the infirm horses in its fold.

The animal hospital-cum-shelter, ASHARI, in Mukundapur, off the EM Bypass, run by People For Animals (PFA), will take care of 14 of its retired horses. PFA pledged to take "total responsibility" for the animals, while suggesting that the police provide part of the feeding expenditure of Rs 32 a day per horse. Each horse will need Rs. 88 per day. The rest of the funds will be coming from public donations in India, Australia and France.

"We have received a letter from the finance department, sanctioning six months' maintenance cost, and directing us to move the horses to ASHARI," Inspector Dilip Kumar Sarkar, riding master at the Barrackpore.

In August 2006, G.C. Dutt, then deputy inspector-general of police (training) of the Police Training College, had written to PFA, asking for an estimate of "the cost of taking care of these horses until death."

"This is a heart-warming gesture and should be an eye-opener for many other institutes saddled with infirm animals," said Debasis Chakrabarti, the managing trustee of PFA Calcutta. Chakrabarti added that the transportation of the horses would be completed as soon as the formalities are over.

The horses will be kept in an "exclusive, free-roaming," 5,000 square foot paddock with a 1,000 square foot shed, with provision for walks on the Ashari campus, spread over 4.4 acres.

The horses were carried to ASHARI on a police truck, after being seen off by DIG (Training), Mr. Sanjay Singh, I.P.S., December 26, at PTC, Barrackpore.

Photo: People for Animals Calcutta/Compassionate Crusaders Trust

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