Immense pain in the limbs led to the mercy killing of a horse in Delhi Mounted Police unit. The horse named Sagar, who turned 16 in March and completed his service period, was euthanised a month ago, said a senior police officer from the unit.

“Ever since he was inducted, two of his limbs were not in perfect condition. He was also given fewer duties. He was used several times during the movements of the Prime Minister. A little over a month ago, while on duty, he was injured and started bleeding profusely,” the officer added. The officer said Sagar was in unbearable pain for three-four days and wasn’t even able to stand. “He would barely get up to eat and drink water,” he said.

Owing to his condition, the unit contemplated mercy killing and a file was moved. Permission was sought from the Commissioner of Police, sources said. Subsequently, a team of doctors visited Sagar. “The doctors permitted euthanasia,” the officer said.

Animal rights activist and trustee of People For Animals Gauri Maulekhi said in case of an animal, which is a victim of abuse where a case under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act has been registered, permission from the magistrate is required to euthanise under Section 13 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. “If no case has been registered and an animal is sick or injured, beyond any hope for recovery, and is suffering immense pain that is likely to get worse, then a qualified veterinary professional can conduct euthanasia as a clinical veterinary procedure. Euthanasia must be done humanely with an overdose of anaesthetic,” she said.

Number dips to 11

With Sagar’s death, the number of horses in the mounted police unit is now 11. According to sources, the horses in the unit have not been assigned duty since the announcement of lockdown in March. They spend their day at the stables in Old Police Lines while their riders are engaged in other duties.

As many as 99 riders are performing Covid-19 duty. “There are six police ambulances here in Old Police Lines that are used for COVID-19 positive police officials whenever they need to be taken from hospital to home or vice versa. The riders drive those vans,” the officer said.

The riders also manage the distribution of sanitisers and other items that need to be delivered to different police units.

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