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Spiked bits are cruel devices that are often fitted into the mouths of horses used for weddings and rides to control them through pain. (At weddings, this suffering is on top of that already caused by the extremely loud, traumatising noise of drums and trumpets.) The crude bits have metal spikes sticking out of them – and so are often referred to as "thorn bits", as they act like a line of thorns piercing the horses' sensitive mouths. Recent investigations by PETA India found horses with spiked bits embedded more than a centimetre deep in their mouths, ripping their lips and tongues and causing them extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense psychological trauma, and lifelong damage. Such use of the bits is rampant, even though it's prohibited under Rule 8 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965.
In response to the findings of a multi-state survey of government efforts to enforce India's ban on the use of spiked bits on horses, 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, Karnataka, and Telangana – have issued orders mandating the enforcement of the ban.
In light of our investigations into the abuse of horses for weddings and other ceremonies, Delhi police – assisted by PETA India – confiscated more than 100 illegal spiked bits and filed non-cognisable offence reports against many horse owners.
As public awareness of the cruelty inherent in using spiked bits grows, numerous wedding parties are now opting for horse-free transportation, including walking, arriving on a Royal Enfield Bullet or Harley-Davidson or in a vintage car or 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.
What You Can Do
Join PETA India in calling on the governments of states and union territories to put an end to the use of illegal spiked bits to control horses for weddings, other ceremonies, and rides.
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