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Equine Welfare Laws

In India, the welfare of pack and draught animals, including horses, donkeys, mules, and bullocks, is primarily governed
by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978. These laws aim to protect
animals from unnecessary suffering and ensure humane treatment, especially when they are used for various forms of labor
or transportation.

Our goal is to ensure the effective enforcement of the existing laws protecting pack and draught animals in India. This
involves taking action against violators, providing relief for mistreated working equines, and facilitating their
retirement when necessary.


(as amended upto 9th December, 1968)

  • Weight Limit:
    (including the weight of the cart and driver)
    Horse or mule: Two- wheeled vehicle, if fitted with pneumatic tyres – 750 kilograms
    The weight of the cart and driver is assumed to be 200 kilograms, so the permissible weight limit of goods
    is 550 kilograms.
  • Working Hours:
    No person shall use or cause to be used any animal for drawing any vehicle or carrying any load:
    1. For more than nine hours in a day in the aggregate.
    2. For more than five hours continuously without a break for rest for the animal.

    *animals cannot be made to work before sunrise and after sunset.

  • Temperature:
    No person shall use or cause to be used any animal for drawing any vehicle or carrying any load:

    In any area where the temperature exceeds 37℃ (99’F) during the period between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m

    1. Spiked Bit/ Whip:
      Use of spike bits on a stick, harness or yoke (in the horse’s mouth) is prohibited.
    2. Injury:
      Injured horses require rest and a fit-to-use certificate from a veterinarian, whether sick or

If you see a violation of these laws or a horse in distress, please report it to our Equine Cruelty Prevention Helpline:
77195 03259