Uttar Pradesh Government to Crack Down on Illegal Use of Spiked Bits on Horses

For Immediate Release:

03 January 2020


Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]

Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

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

Lucknow – Based on a recent letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India stating that there is rampant use of spiked bits – a device with metal spikes sticking out of it – 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 2019 conducted by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

“These illegal torture devices lacerate horses’ mouths and leave them with tremendous pain, and the weapons don’t belong at joyous occasions like weddings or anywhere else,” says PETA India Senior Legal Counsel Swati Sumbly. “We are 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 used for weddings and rides, spiked bits sink more than a centimetre deep into their mouths, ripping their lips and tongues 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 (or “thorn”) bits on horses, PETA India launched a nationwide campaign in the first week of December aimed at helping police enforce the ban. Following outreach from PETA India, 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.

A PETA India investigative video and photographs about the cruelty of using spiked bits on horses are available upon request

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