In the books of the Harry Potter series, Rubeus Hagrid makes a Muggle child grow a tail of a pig. (He tried to change the kid into an actual piglet, but failed.) In the book it was never fixed and a later piece of dialogue implies that it had to be surgically removed. Was he allowed to do that?

In another book Harry "blows up" his own aunt, and the Minister of Magic himself seems to laugh at the idea that Harry would be punished.

We never learn of him getting any consequences for Hagrid's action. While some mention the rule of Voldemort being a sad time for Muggles, and I faintly recall one wizard expressing a feeling which implied that killing Muggles is a bad thing, they seem to be awfully frivolous with Obliviating people. Are there limits to what wizards are allowed to do to Muggles that wouldn't be done to a fellow wizard?

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    Harry got away with blowing up his aunt because it was accidental magic. Also, at that point in the story, it would have been politically disadvantageous for the Ministry to try and go after him for it (contrast book 5).
    – Kevin
    Aug 24 '20 at 5:36
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    +1 for Kevin. Hagrid kept it very secret and it's likely that the wizarding authorities never even heard about it. Dudley's parents knew the truth but would have rather died than tell anyone about it. The blown up aunt coincided with the breakout of Sirius and the Ministry (believing that Sirius would try to kill Harry) had to keep the boy safe. So the incident was quickly swept under the rug just so he could be brought back under Dumbledore's protection.
    – Vilx-
    Aug 24 '20 at 9:43
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    IIRC, the thing Fudge finds funny isn't the idea of Harry being punished, but that Harry assumed the punishment was being sent to Azkaban. His exact words are something like "We don't send people to Azkaban for things like that!" I agree that anyone other than Harry would have been punished for the "blowing up their aunt" incident, just not as harshly as Harry imagined.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 24 '20 at 13:53

Are wizards allowed to inflict body horror upon Muggles at their own discretion?

Heck no. This is, at best, a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy, which can land you a reprimand at best and presumably Azkaban at worst.

Later on in the series, we see instances of wizards playing "pranks" on Muggles - such as shrinking keys to nothing - and this is obviously a problem; the Ministry is attempting to put a stop to it. Using magic in front of Muggles - and even worse on Muggles - is definitely illegal in the Wizarding World.

In addition, Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts as a child and had his wand snapped in half, and is technically not allowed to use magic in the first place, so he definitely wasn't allowed to use it to give Dudley a pig tail.

You mention being free with their use of Obliviating. This is usually done to protect the secrecy of the Wizarding World, to modify the memory of Muggles who have encountered magic so that they no longer remember it. This is usually performed by Ministry of Magic employees, but whenever it is done it's done with the interests of preserving secrecy; wizards messing with Muggles' memory for fun would find themselves in hot water very quickly.

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    Huh, they do seem to be somewhat lenient when it comes to causing harm to muggles...
    – VienLa
    Aug 23 '20 at 19:26
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    Never mind what it'll do to the muggle's career or personal life to have X hours of their life entirely unaccounted for...
    – Shadur
    Aug 24 '20 at 7:17
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    Well, the whole wizarding laws are a bit sketchy. In the first books there is no clear distinction between being expelled from a school and being allowed to use magic. Hagrid was actually allowed to use some magic to reach Harry, which is already suspicious. Later we actually learn that the problem is the age limit, not exams in the school. Obviously, it cannot break the Statute of Secrecy if the muggle in question already knows about wizards. Being the brother of a wizard would change a lot in that regard.
    – Sulthan
    Aug 24 '20 at 15:10

Assaulting Muggles (or using magic on them that results in their injury) appears to be a crime in the magical world. The Muggles in question are fixed and returned to their original lives, minus the memories.

"Anyway, this time Willy's been caught selling biting doorknobs to Muggles and I don't think he'll be able to worm his way out of it because, according to this article, two Muggles have lost fingers and are now in St Mungo's for emergency bone re-growth and memory modification. Just think of it, Muggles in St Mungo's! I wonder which ward they're in?"

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Mr Weasley describes it as 'Muggle-baiting' but it seems likely that there are more serious classes of this offence as well as the usual breaching of the Magical Secrecy laws which apparently have their own police force.


Failure to maintain secrecy

It seems that Ministry of Magic mainly views offences against Muggles from the perspective of protecting the wizarding community and the secrecy they rely upon for their collective safety.

For example, accidental harm to Muggles and the various acts of intentional Muggle-baiting are investigated because they threaten other wizards as they may cause a publicly visible scandal. However, if a wizard properly 'cleans up' after some horrific abuse by Obliviating everyone involved, they are not that likely to be investigated at all, as it's not clear to anyone that an offence has happened.

Spells against Muggles are a crime

That being said, if a wizard gets investigated, then harming Muggles with spells is considered a punishable offence. We have lots of evidence in the story of Morfin Gaunt, uncle of Voldemort, who initially gets sent to Azkaban for (among other things) using a hive spell on a Muggle, and afterwards sent to Azkaban again for killing Muggles.

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