The Meghalaya government has banned the manufacture, sale and trade of spiked bits used to control horses through pain in their mouths, an official said on Friday.
Animal Husbandry Department Director Dr R Ch Sangma has issued letters in this regard to officials concerned in districts and sub-divisions of the northeastern state.
“The directive has been issued to the veterinary officials at all levels to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and trade of spiked bits in Meghalaya. These cruel devices are used to control horses through pain by injuring their mouths,” Sangma said.
The device is composed of two small, hinged metal cylinders covered with spikes or sharp spirals, that are inserted into a horse’s mouth and attached to the reins. The spikes cut into the horse’s lips and tongue when the reins are pulled.
These horses are used in weddings, rides in entertainment zones, and to pull carts.
“The Animal Welfare Board of India had previously issued an advisory to states and union territories in favour of such a prohibition,” Sangma said.
Animal rights organisation PETA had earlier urged the government to ban spiked bits.
The direction to ban the manufacture, sale and trade of spiked bits will go a long way towards ending cruelty to horses in Meghalaya, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a statement.
“We are celebrating this development and urging all other states and union territories to protect horses by banning spiked bits from the market,” it said. (PTI)