PETA India Urges Government Crackdown On Use of Spiked Bits For Horses in Weddings

For Immediate Release:

28 June 2018


Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Torture Devices Cause Pain, Animals Stressed by Noise of Drums and Trumpets: Group Wants Weddings to Go Horse-Free

Mumbai – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is asking the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to take decisive action to stop the rampant illegal use of spiked (or “thorn”) bits, which are being used to control horses despite being prohibited under Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965. Acting upon complaints, PETA India veterinarians recently carried out inspections on horses used for rides and for weddings and discovered the widespread use of thorn bits, which have been found embedded over a centimetre deep in the animals’ mouths and which rip their lips and tongues, causing extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense mental trauma, and lifelong damage.

PETA India sent a letter calling on the ministry to enforce the law against the use of these torture devices and amend Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, to include a ban on the manufacture and sale of them as well. The group also wrote to to ask that the vile devices be removed from its e-commerce site. And in PETA India’s new video, the group asks brides- and grooms-to-be to pledge to ride in an antique car, on a motorcycle, or in some other vehicle that doesn’t use animals and not to make hurting horses a part of their wedding or any other special ceremony. A broadcast-quality of the video is available upon request.

“Veterinarians like me – as well as most brides and grooms – are often shocked to learn that many horses are cruelly controlled with the use of spiked bits,” 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, and the government can help prevent that.”

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 and even dropping in by helicopter. High-profile celebrities and cricketers 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 Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, and Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja, among others.

In 2014, the Animal Welfare Board of India issued an advisory requesting that states and union territories (UTs) impose a ban on the manufacture, trade, possession, and use of spiked bits. No action was taken by the states and UTs, but the clamour for a clampdown is growing and these recent inspections show why.

PETA India’s letters to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and are available upon request. For more information, please visit