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215 fined for not taking care of horses, mules on Kedarnath route

5,651 horses and mules were inspected, of which 3,730 sick and injured animals were treated. The authorities also removed from the route 469 mules and horses found unfit,

Kedarnath Dham is beautifully decorated

Kedarnath Dham (Photo: Twitter)

Press Trust of India Rudraprayag

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Around 215 horse and mule handlers on the Kedarnath trek route have been fined this year for not taking proper care of the animals they use to earn livelihood by ferrying pilgrims to the Himalayan temple, an official said on Saturday.
While challans have been issued against 215 handlers for not taking good care of the animals, FIRs were lodged against 16, Rudraprayag Chief Veterinary Officer Ashok Kumar said.
He added that 15,651 horses and mules were inspected, of which 3,730 sick and injured animals were treated. The authorities also removed from the route 469 mules and horses found unfit, Kumar said.
In a recent order, Uttarakhand High Court asked the state government to blacklist equine handlers and owners on the Char Dham Yatra route who inflict cruelty on animals, saying merely fining them is not enough. It also issued a slew of directions for the welfare of these animals.
Setting up barricades to allow only registered operators, allowing animals to rest at night and providing them warm water and health check-ups before the start of journeys are among the steps ordered by the high court.
The court was hearing a PIL, which alleged that horse and mule operators on the route often subject them to cruel treatment such as forcing them to overwork or carry more burden than their bearing capacity for commercial gain.
Kumar said sector officers and Mule Task Force and District Distaster Response Force teams maintain constant vigil to ensure that there is no cruelty to animals.
Animals showing signs of exhaustion on the route are being treated immediately, he said.
Sector Officer (Gaurikund) Anil Kumar said the horses and mules operating on the trek route are being constantly monitored and added that handlers who make them work despite injuries are being fined.
Such animals are withdrawn from the route immediately and sent for treatment, he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 19 2023 | 11:17 PM IST

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