Bihar Government to Crack Down on Sale and Use of Spiked Bits on Horses

For Immediate Release:

17 September 2020


Monica Chopra; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Following Complaint by PETA India, State Animal Husbandry Department Issues Order

Patna – After receiving appeals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India pointing out the rampant use of spiked (or “thorn”) bits – devices with metal spikes sticking out of them – to control horses throughout Bihar, even though their use is explicitly banned under Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, Vinod Singh Gunjiyal, director of the Bihar Animal Husbandry Department, issued an order to all district animal husbandry officers and the secretaries of the district Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals calling on them to ensure that spiked bits are not sold or used to control equines (horses, ponies, mules, or donkeys). The order also refers to the provision under the Rules which prohibits the use of harnesses or yokes with spikes, knobs, or projections or any sharp tackle or equipment in order to ride any animal or make any animal pull any vehicle.

PETA India’s investigative video about the cruelty of using spiked bits and photographs are available upon request. 

In its letters, PETA India pointed out the illegality and inhumanity of using spiked bits on equines. When these devices are used to control horses for weddings or rides or to force them to haul goods, they can sink deep into their mouths, ripping their lips and tongues and causing extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense psychological trauma, and lifelong damage.

“These illegal torture devices lacerate horses’ mouths and leave them in tremendous pain. They don’t belong at joyous occasions like weddings or anywhere else,” says PETA India Legal Associate Amir Nabi. ”We are grateful that the Bihar government is calling for a crackdown on the use of harmful spiked bits. PETA India stands ready to lend a hand to help enforce the law if needed.”

Numerous states – including Assam, DelhiGoaHaryana, Himachal PradeshKarnataka, MaharashtraTelangana, and Uttar Pradesh – have issued orders mandating the enforcement of Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965. PETA India is campaigning not only for police to search for and confiscate the illegally sold and 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.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that ”animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit