Following an appeal from PETA India, Goa Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Dr Agostinho Misquita directed all assistant directors and veterinary officers of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services to comply with the advisory issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India to prohibit the sale, manufacture, and trade of spiked bits to stop their illegal use.
Spiked bits sink deep into horses’ mouths and cut their lips and tongues, causing extreme pain and lifelong damage. Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, framed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, prohibits the use of “any spiked stick or bit, harness or yoke with spikes, knobs or projections or any sharp tackle or equipment”, but spiked bits are commonly used to control horses used for weddings, rides, hauling carriages, and lugging goods.
Recently, the Meghalaya director of animal husbandry and veterinary also sent a letter urging action on PETA India’s request to prohibit the sale, manufacture, and trade of spiked bits there.
PETA India has conducted enforcement actions with police, including in Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Punjab, seizing more than 800 spiked bits in the past year alone.