Court bans joyriding in Mumbai's blingy horse-drawn carriages to prevent animal cruelty

Tourists hoping to roll down Mumbai's cacophonous streets in one of its famed, horse-drawn carriages will have to do so before June 2016, when a court has ordered the carriages be banned to prevent cruelty to the animals.

The carriages festooned with bright, flashy lights, plastic hibiscus blooms and tinsel ornaments have long been a draw for visitors to India's cramped and cobblestoned financial capital.

But the Mumbai High Court said in a ruling this week that "the activity of using horse-driven carriages only for joyrides solely for human pleasure is an avoidable activity." It also ordered the city's stables closed and the horses rehabilitated, but stopped short of banning carriages outside of Mumbai where horses, oxen and camels are also used to pull work carts.