Following an appeal from PETA India, the director of the Ladakh animal husbandry and fisheries department, Dr Mohd Iqbal, directed the chief animal husbandry officers of Leh and Kargil to share a circular prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and trade of illegal spiked bits, which are used to control horses, among all veterinary officers in the region.
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”. However, spiked bits are commonly sold and are used to control horses who are forced to work at weddings, give rides, haul carriages, and lug goods.
Recently, the governments of Andaman and Nicobar, Gujarat, Goa, and Meghalaya also issued letters urging action on PETA India’s request to prohibit the manufacture and trade of illegal spiked bits there.