Mani Ratnam’s period drama Ponniyin Selvan that has Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead is in legal trouble as an FIR has been lodged by a volunteer of PETA India stating that a horse died during the shooting of the film at a private land near a film studio on August 11. After the complaint the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has sought an inquiry in the issue.
Reportedly a police official said that 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. The police official attached to Abdullapurmet police station said that a post mortem has been conducted by a veterinarian and the results are awaited.
The AWBI wrote to the Hyderabad District Collector and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to conduct an inquiry into the death of the horse after it received a report from PETA’s whistle-blower who said the carcass was buried on the same ground. The report stated that several horses were used in the shooting for long hours due to which the animals were tired, dehydrated and not rested enough.
PETA India Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta told the said in a statement, “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. 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.”