The Election Commission (EC) has asked political parties and candidates to refrain from using animals and birds in campaign.
If use of animals was unavoidable for any particular reason, they should ensure that there was no violation of any law or cruelty in any form that would be meted out to animals, the EC said in a letter to all parties.
The EC had received representations from some individuals and organisations, alleging that animals were subjected to cruelty in different forms during campaigns. Animals were made to carry loads beyond permissible limits and work for long hours.
Some candidates even painted slogans and election symbols on animals, using harmful chemicals, it was alleged.
Party workers and candidates should not lose sight of the legal provisions dealing with cruelty to animals, the EC said.