Animal’s Welfare organization sends legal notices to center, Gujarat govt, Suzuki Motors, others over proposed egg production units

Gandhinagar: People for Animals, a leading animal welfare organisation based in Delhi has sent legal notices to Government of Gujarat, Government of Telangana, Suzuki Motor Corporation, ISE Foods Inc. and Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, prior to the establishment of ISE & Suzuki’s joint venture company for egg production and processing units in Gujarat and Telangana respectively.

Gauri Mulekhi, Trustee, People for Animals in a statement today said, ”the egg production and processing units in Gujarat is said to house approximately 1.2 million hens. To house a number this magnitude, the said unit will adopt battery cages system to confine the egg-laying hens, which is also in line with the general business practise of ISE Foods Inc but violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.”

“Battery cages are a violation the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The Ministry of Environment & Forests, through various D.O.s, the Animal Welfare Board of India, through an advisory, and the Law Commission, vide report No. 269, dated July 2017, consensually and unequivocally affirm this fact. The immeasurable cruelty egg-laying hens throughout their lifetime, from being housed in battery cages cannot be denied. Several higher welfare cage-free systems, which are commercially viable exist. In the light of the established law, ISE & Suzuki must adopt these higher welfare systems. We will take legal action if the companies choose to establish battery cage facility, while purposely violating the law,” Mulekhi said..

There are approximately 220 million egg-laying hens presently suffering in battery cages across farms in India, the third largest producer of eggs. In case of battery cages, each egg laying hen is afforded only 67 square inches of cage space—less space than a single sheet of A4-sized paper to live her entire life. Unable even to spread their wings, caged laying hens are among the most intensively confined animals in agribusiness and suffer from the denial of many natural behaviours such as nesting, perching, and dust-bathing, all important for hen welfare, she added.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in 2012 also stated that it violates the provisions of Section 11(1)(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. 24 states, including Gujarat and Telangana, have also issued directions to poultry farmers to phase out battery cages by 2017 but there has been little implementation so far. In addition, the Law Commission of India, vide report No. 269 (July, 2017) expressly stated that battery cages are inherently cruel and must be phased out at the earliest. Allowing new poultry facilities to establish these illegal systems will tantamount to an offence under the Act, and attract penal action.


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