Based on a recent letter from PETA India stating that there is rampant use of spiked bits – devices with metal spikes protruding from them – to control horses throughout Uttar Pradesh, despite an explicit legal ban on their use under Rule 8 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, the director of the state’s Animal Husbandry Department issued an order to all district chief veterinary officers calling on them to implement all provisions of this law and to submit a report of the actions taken. The animal husbandry director acted on the direction of the chief secretary of the state.
In its letter, PETA India pointed out that the population of horses and ponies in Uttar Pradesh is around 0.76 lakhs, the highest in the country, as recorded in the 20th Livestock Census conducted in 2019 by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
These illegal torture devices lacerate horses’ mouths and leave them in tremendous pain, and they don’t belong at a joyous occasion such as a wedding or anywhere else. We’re grateful that the Uttar Pradesh government is calling for a crackdown on the use of these harmful spiked bits, and PETA India is ready to lend a hand to enforce the law, if needed.
When used to control horses for weddings or rides, spiked bits sink more than a centimetre deep into their mouth, ripping their lips and tongue and causing extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense mental trauma, and lifelong damage.
Based on the results of a multi-state survey of government efforts to enforce India’s ban on using spiked bits on horses, PETA India launched a nationwide campaign in the first week of December aimed at helping police enforce the ban. Following our outreach efforts, several states – including Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, and Telangana – have issued orders mandating the enforcement of this prohibition. PETA India is campaigning not only for police to search for and confiscate the illegally used devices but also for laws to be introduced to include a ban on the manufacture and sale of spiked bits, a loophole that needs to be closed.