New Push to End Battery Cages for India's Laying Hens

INDIA - The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) says a notice has been issued against the confinement of egg layers in battery cages.
calendar icon 11 March 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Arun Palli issued a notice in a petition filed by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations against confining egg-laying hens in battery cages. The notice was also issued to the governments of India, Punjab and Haryana, the Poultry Federation of India and the Animal Welfare Board of India, according to FIAPO.

Indian factory farms confine more than 200 million hens in barren battery cages. Each bird lives within a space smaller than a single sheet of paper for more than a year before she’s slaughtered.

India is the third largest producer of eggs in the world. Currently, at least 70 percent of its eggs come from commercial farmers who confine their hens to barren battery cages so small that each bird has less space than an A4 size sheet of paper in which to spend her entire life.

This clearly violates the provisions of Section 11(1)(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which requires that animals confined to cages be provided with reasonable opportunity for movement.

For this reason, one year ago the Animal Welfare Board of India issued an advisory to all state governments stating that battery cages should not be used and existing ones should be phased out by 2017. FIAPO has been following up with the state Animal Husbandry departments of both Punjab and Haryana to phase out or avoid battery cages and stay vigilant against new cage facilities, however no concrete action has been taken by both the states.

"The use of battery cages to confine egg laying hens is absolutely barbaric. The cages strip away the dignity of the hens completely. It's unfathomable that living beings can be treated with such cruelty and this," said Senior Advocate Anand Grover who represented the petitioner.

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