The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has sought an inquiry in connection with the death of a horse allegedly during the shooting of filmmaker Mani Ratnam's Tamil historical drama Ponniyin Selvan, according to PETA. A police official in Hyderabad on Thursday said they registered a case after a volunteer of PETA India, on August 18 filed a complaint stating that a horse died during the shooting of the movie at a private land near a film studio on August 11.
Based on the complaint, a case was registered against the management of production house Madras Talkies and the owner of the horse under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and IPC, they said. The police official attached to Abdullapurmet police station said a veterinarian conducted a post mortem and a report is still awaited.
Following a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India based on whistle-blower reports regarding the incident, the AWBI wrote to the Hyderabad District Collector and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to conduct an inquiry into the death, a release from PETA said. The carcass was buried on the same ground.
According to the complaint received by them from a whistle-blower several horses were continuously used for hours at the film set due to which the animals were tired and dehydrated. "In the age of computer-generated imagery (CGI), production companies have no excuse for forcing exhausted horses to play at war until one of them drops dead," said PETA India Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta.
"Compassionate, forward-thinking filmmakers would never dream of hauling sensitive animals to a chaotic movie set and forcing them to ‘act’. PETA India is calling on director Mani Ratnam to cut the cruelty and switch to modern and humane CGI and other visual-effects technology," the PETA release further said.