Following an appeal from PETA India, Meghalaya Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Dr R Ch Sangma sent a letter to district and sub-divisional animal husbandry and veterinary officers urging them to act on PETA India’s request to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and trade of spiked bits. These vile devices are used to control horses through pain by injuring their mouths. The Animal Welfare Board of India has previously issued an advisory to states and union territories in favour of such a prohibition.
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.