New Delhi: The India chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has urged all political parties to refrain from using animals for poll campaigns as per the Election Commission's (EC) model code of conduct guidelines.
In a statement released on Monday, PETA India said that it has fired off letters to the heads of all political parties, urging them to follow the EC's model code of conduct which bans the use of animals in poll campaigns.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will be held between April 11 and May 19. The results will be out on May 23.
In the letter, the animal rights body said that using animals in election campaigns was "unnecessary, archaic and cruel".
"During these campaigns, animals are terrified by being forced into the middle of screaming crowds. They're often beaten, whipped, kicked and terrorised while being paraded through the streets by shouting mobs. They're also often forced to carry loads in excess of their physical capacities, denied adequate food and water, and seriously injured in the mayhem," it said.
According to the model code of conduct, "Even a party, having reserved (a) symbol depicting an animal, should not make live demonstration of that animal in any election campaign of the party/any of its candidate(s)."
It also states that the display of animals in road shows is totally banned.
"Political parties and candidates should stick to eye-catching and creative campaigns that don't subject animals to frightening, frenetic crowds," PETA India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Manilal Valliyate said in the statement.
The body also appealed to the general public to report any use of animals in poll campaigns through the EC's VIGIL mobile app.