Several of them found outside the animal husbandry office
Shopian: At the end of autumn, when all the chores are done and Kashmiris go into a sort of hibernation for the winter, abandoned horses are let out to fend for themselves in Shopian streets. Some injured, others maimed, and most looking for food, these horses are a testimony to the cruelty of men who abandon them in the worst weather conditions when the temperature dips several notches below the freezing point.
On last Wednesday, several such horses were found outside the animal husbandry office in Shopian, which otherwise should be the caretaker of such abandoned horses. One of the horses found outside the district animal husbandry office was grievously injured. It was lying on the snow, blood oozing out of its body, and the earth around it was soaked with its blood.
Locals from the town said that some people from Keller, Hirpora, Sedow and Devpora area of the district leave these horses on God’s mercy in the winters after using and abusing them throughout the year, for smuggling wood from jungles and for ferrying apple boxes, fodder, and construction material. They also use these horses to carry food and other ingredients deep in the jungles where they spend summers along with sheep and cattle.
Bashir Ahmad, a local, said that the owners of these horses should be identified with the help of the animal husbandry department and strict action should be taken against them.
In late autumn, some of these abandoned horses created havoc in several villages of Shopian by damaging apple boxes and apples which were put out on the ground by orchardists.
Locals from Pahnoo area said that later some of the said horses were taken back by the owners, but most of the horses were again left abandoned.
Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Shopian, Dr Ishrat Shakeel told Kashmir Reader that the department has treated the injured horse and a similar rescue had been done earlier. He said that it is the revenue department that can trace the owners with the help of Lumberdars, Panchayat members and Patwaris.
He admitted that this has become a growing nuisance in Shopian district. “These people should be made accountable and answerable for the animal rights violations,” he said.
Dr Shakeel added that his department can only provide treatment to such animals.