Lucknow, June 24 | The Lucknow police, with the help of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, has seized over 70 spikes, also known as ‘thorns, used to control horses.
Spikes are prohibited under Rule 8 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, but are commonly used to control horses during work, at weddings and rides..
The police team intervened in the cases of more than a hundred horses, replacing the spiked bits with plain ones.
The Lucknow police and PETA India, on Thursday, displayed the confiscated spiked bits at the Hazratganj police station as part of an awareness drive to let the public know their use is illegal.
At the event, an awareness programme for ‘tonga’ owners and drivers was also organized to encourage them to discontinue cruel practices and to help them understand the benefit of choosing livelihood alternatives such as e-rickshaws.
Chiranjeev Nath Sinha, additional deputy commissioner of police, Central Lucknow, said, Lucknow police’s stance on enforcing animal protection laws is strict and clear. We will take firm action against anyone who abuses any animal or causes them unnecessary pain or suffering. I appreciate the work of PETA India for generating awareness in the city, for supporting the police with implementing the law, and replacing the spiked bits with plain ones.
PETA India CEO and equine expert Manilal Valliyate said: Spiked bits rip horses’ lips and tongues, causing them extreme pain, bloody wounds, immense psychological trauma, and lifelong damage.
In this day and age, replacing tongas with e-rickshaws is an easy way to prevent exhausted, injured, and malnourished animals from being forced to haul heavy loads and also to enhance the owners’ livelihood.
Lucknow’s increasing pollution and street congestion necessitate a move towards a safer, animal cart-free future, he added.
As per Section 38 (3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, any person who contravenes the 1965 Rules by using a spiked bit shall be subject to punishment, which could include imprisonment.
In 2014, the Animal Welfare Board of India issued an advisory requesting that states and union territories impose a ban on the manufacture, trade, possession, and use of spiked bits.
PETA India has requested that the central government implement a law to ban the manufacture, possession, and sale of spiked bits, too.