Following PETA India Complaint, Delhi Police Seize Spiked Bits Used to Control Horses in Weddings

For Immediate Release:

25 June 2019


Garima Jain; [email protected]

Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

More Than 50 Devices Were Seized, and Non-Cognisable Offence Reports Were Filed Against Four Horse Owners

Delhi – This week, Delhi police, with the help of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, conducted enforcement drives in major parts of Delhi – including Tatarpur, Rajouri Garden, Moti Nagar, Mangolpuri, Sultanpuri, Nangloi Jat, Chhatarpur, and Maidan Garhi – against the illegal use of spiked (or “thorn”) bits. Such torture devices are fitted into horses’ mouths and used to control the animals. The spiked bits are commonly worn by those used for weddings and rides, even though their use is prohibited under Rule 8 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965.

A PETA India video about the cruelty horses used for weddings often face, and photos are available upon request

Delhi police and PETA India intervened in the cases of more than 50 horses, replacing the spiked bits with smooth ones. A non-cognisable offence report for multiple violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA), 1960, was registered against four horse owners by the Rajouri Garden police station. As per Section 38 (3) of the PCA Act, any person who contravenes the 1965 Rule shall be subject to punishment, which could include imprisonment.

“Brides and grooms are almost always shocked to learn that many horses are cruelly controlled with the use of spiked bits, which lacerate their mouth,” says PETA India CEO and equine expert Dr Manilal Valliyate. “In this day and age, there’s simply no excuse for forcing a horse with a bloody mouth to be included in wedding festivities or to give rides.”

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that numerous wedding parties are now opting for horse-free transportation options, including everything from walking to arriving in a Ferrari or even dropping in by helicopter. High-profile celebrity couples whose weddings were horse-free include Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Rukmini Sahay, Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge, Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, and Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja.

In 2014, the Animal Welfare Board of India issued an advisory requesting that states and union territories impose a ban on the manufacture, trade, possession, and use of spiked bits. Many of them claim to have taken action, but the clamour for a clampdown is growing – and enforcement drives such as those conducted by the Delhi police show why. PETA India has requested that the central government enforce the law in order to stop the use of these torture devices and ban their manufacture, possession, and sale.

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