Rajasthan Government to Crack Down on Illegal Use of Spiked Bits on Horses  

For Immediate Release:

8 July 2020


Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

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

Rajasthan – 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 Rajasthan, even though they’re explicitly banned under Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, and as per the 2014 order of the Rajasthan animal husbandry department, the director of the department, Dr Virendra Singh, has issued a new order to department officials and the member secretaries of all district SPCAs calling on them to ensure the implementation of this rule. It notes that in the 2014 order, all district administrations were asked to adhere to the advisory issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India in that same year by prohibiting the sale and use of spiked bits at animal fairs. PETA India points out that despite this directive, the torture devices are still rampantly being used on horses in Rajasthan.

PETA India’s investigative video about the cruelty of spiked bits and photographs, including of spiked bits still being used in Rajasthan are available for download upon request. 

In a letter, PETA India pointed out that the population of horses and ponies in Rajasthan is around 0.34 lakhs (the third highest of any state in the country), as recorded in the 20th Livestock Census 2019, conducted by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying. When spiked bits are used to control horses used for weddings and rides and to force them to haul goods, the devices can sink more than a centimetre 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 with tremendous pain, and they don’t belong at joyous occasions like weddings or anywhere else,” says PETA India Senior Legal Counsel Swati Sumbly. ”We are grateful that the Rajasthan government is calling for a renewed crackdown on the use of these harmful spiked bits, and PETA India is ready to lend a hand to help enforce the law if needed.”

Several states – including Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh – 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 in order to close an existing loophole.

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 PETAIndia.com.