Animal rights activists in Bangladesh are concerned about the growing crisis among horses at the famous Cox’s Bazar beach. More than 25 horses have died of starvation.
The horses are used for tourist rides along Cox’s Bazar beach. But since the country’s coronavirus lockdown, no tourists are visiting the beach. No tourists means no income for the horse’s owners, who said they’ve been struggling to buy food for their animals.
Activist Ibrahim Khalil said government officials did not take the deaths of the animals seriously. He had warned them earlier that the situation could worsen if the government did not step in to help the owners.
But horses are not only starving in Cox’s Bazar, Rakibul Haq Emil, founder of People for Animal Welfare (PAW), said in a Facebook post. The problem is the use of animals as income, he said.
And in Bangladesh, where there’s is no regulation on how to treat horses and where horse owners usually are poor, starvation and lack of care for injured animals will continue, he said.
Horse owners who try to feed their horses have taken out micro-loans to buy food for their animals. Horse owner, Rezaul Karim, told AFP he was struggling with “neck-deep debt”.
“The horses are turning violent and bad-tempered due to hunger. Often they bite each other. This is a matter of concern as they are usually very tame animals,” Karim said.
“If we soon cannot start feeding them (horses) properly, they will die,” Farida Begum, spokeswoman of the Cox’s Bazar Horse Owners Association, said.
The government denied that the horses had died from starvation and said the owners had not asked for food.
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