D Rajasekar, Secretary in the Environment and Forests Ministry, Government of India, has written to the heads of the concerned departments in the Karnataka State Government, stressing the need to conform to the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Wildlife Protection Act. He has directed the Department Of Public Works of the local Government to ensure that all amenities provided to racehorses at the present premises of The Bangalore Turf Club should continue to be in place until alternative accommodation is arranged for these horses.
The need for this letter arose after the said department issued numerous notices since 2008 to The BTC, asking it to vacate the present premises on January 1, 2010, on the expiry of the notice period. In a further development, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) had informed the Club that it would suspend supply of electricity after the same date. Although the matter has now reached the High Court Of Karnataka, the notices continue to come from these Government bodies.
The letter goes on to say that "We have received representations that factually on ground, there are about 1,000 thoroughbred racehorses stabled inside the BTC premises. These thoroughbred racehorses require certain special amenities and facilities to thrive, survive and perform their act of running in races. These said facilities include adequate stabling, lighting, power, water, training track, lunging rings, bund schools, an equine swimming pool and a 24 hour fully equipped equine hospital." All these facilities are available at the present location of The Bangalore Turf Club.
The Secretary has categorically directed the department by stating that "You will be required to ensure that such facilities and amenities are continued to be provided to these thoroughbred racehorses at the present location till suitable alternative accommodation is arranged.
Please note that power facility and other amenities required for racehorses as existing at the present premises may be continued so as to conform to the provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and the broad vision of The Wildlife Protection Act 1972."
The racing fraternity of Karnataka was relieved to hear this news. The Karnataka Government must heed the advice of the Central Government and resist from taking any hasty decisions that may harm the interests of the expensive live stock housed at The Bangalore Turf Club..