Butchering a Pony for its meat !! A shameful tale

It was only some time back that the whole of Manipur came under the glare of the unidentified predator that preyed on livestock and left a trail of mutilated bodies. Now things have certainly come full circle with humans now preying on horses or the Manipuri Pony, the type of which is found only in Manipur. On the endangered list as the total number of Ponies during the last count held in 2012 was pegged only at 1101. The mutilated remains of the Pony found at Yaralpat on December 28 tells the story of how depraved some people of Manipur have become and this is something which all should be ashamed about. The fact that a large chunk of its meat had been carved out suggests that some horse eaters who come as human beings slaughtered the Pony and took off with its part. Prized animal, the Manipuri Pony is and the identity of Manipur can never be complete without a reference to the Pony and to think that some perverted minds did not hesitate to butcher a Pony for its meat is something which cannot be accepted. On the one hand, Manipur takes pride in the claim that it gave the game of Polo to the world and the Polo as a game here can never be understood minus the Pony. In killing the Pony, the butchers also butchered the history and identity of Manipur. This is the sad reality. This also calls for all to give a serious thought on how the Ponies are being looked after. Not uncommon to see a number of underfed Ponies crowding the main roads of Imphal and this is where a number of questions may be raised against those who own Ponies.
The butchering of the Pony should also raise the question of whether they are being looked after properly and with care. This should also be the time to wake up the Government on the need to come down hard on all those who let the Ponies roam the streets of Imphal freely. Why can’t grazing grounds be identified for the Ponies ? How about drafting a policy to ensure the survival of the Pony in the right environs ? Are the Ponies being looked after with the care that is needed or are they just allowed to roam around freely and forage on the left overs piled up by the roadsides ? What will happen if an epidemic breaks out and infects a large number of Ponies ? This is where the Government and voluntary organisations need to pool in their thoughts and come out with a practical policy to ensure the survival of the Pony. Chapters on the Manipuri Pony and how they are closely associated with the history and identity of the land may be included in the syllabus of the school children. Education is an effective way of ensuring the survival of the Manipuri Pony. On the other hand, the whip should be cracked and those involved in butchering the Pony at Yaralpat should be identified and penalised heavily. Protect the Pony and at the same time draft a policy to ensure its survival and educate Pony owners that the animal should not be left free to roam the streets of Imphal.

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