Spiked bits are vile devices that are often fitted into the mouths of horses used for ceremonies such as weddings and rides to control them through pain. (At weddings, this suffering is compounded by the extremely loud, traumatising noise of drums, trumpets, and the crowd as well as bright lights.) The crude bits with metal spikes sticking out of them are often referred to as “thorn bits”, as they act like a line of thorns piercing the horses’ sensitive mouths.
Investigations by PETA India found horses who had spiked bits embedded deep in their mouths, ripping their lips and tongues and causing them extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense psychological trauma, and often lifelong damage. The use of spiked bits is rampant, even though it’s prohibited under Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965.
PETA India has written to the chief secretaries of states and union territories including Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh requesting that they take action against the illegal practice. Several governments – including those of Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh – have issued orders mandating the enforcement of the ban of these devices.
In light of our investigations into the abuse of horses for weddings and other ceremonies, police in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh – assisted by PETA India – confiscated more than 300 illegal spiked bits and replaced them with plain ones.
As public awareness of the cruelty inherent in using spiked bits grows, many people are now opting for horse-free transportation for their wedding parties, including walking or arriving on a fancy motorcycle or in a vintage or luxury car. High-profile celebrity couples whose weddings were animal-free include Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Rukmini Sahay, Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, and Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja.
What You Can Do
Join PETA India in taking steps to stop the illegal use of spiked bits to control horses for weddings, other ceremonies, and rides by signing the petition below.