Maharashtra Police seized spiked bits used to control horses

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Pune – As monsoon season floods Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, and Panchgani with tourists, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Maharashtra police are displayed over 100 seized spiked (or “thorn”) bits outside the collector’s office in Pune on 12 July 2022, calling on everyone to enjoy their marriages and visits to the hill stations without using horses. 

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Police had confiscated the bits – which deliberately lacerate animals’ mouths – from horse owners in Kolhapur, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, and Panchgani. It’s common to use these contraptions to control horses, including those used for wedding ceremonies, through pain, even though this violates Rule 8 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, and the circular issued by Maharashtra’s Department of Animal Husbandry, which directs authorities to enforce the ban. 

 “Spiked bits control horses through pain, bloodying lips and tongues. They inflict psychological trauma and lifelong damage,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Natasha Ittyerah. “PETA India is urging tourists to sightsee without harming animals and asking everyone to leave horses out of marriages, because these animals deserve happiness and a pain-free life, too.” 

Several other states and union territories – including Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh – have also issued orders mandating the enforcement of this prohibition. 

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