June 10, 2008
Indian Egg Industry Leaders Travel to US to Explore Cage-Free Housing Systems for Hens
WASHINGTON — Poultry producers from India just concluded a weeklong tour of cage-free egg production facilities in the United States. The tour, sponsored by Humane Society International, introduced producers to a variety of less cruel alternatives to caged-housing systems for egg-laying hens. Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, which has more than 10.5 million supporters.
The majority of egg-laying hens in India spend their lives crowded in cages so small, the birds lack sufficient space to walk or even stretch their wings. “Cage-free” eggs come from hens allowed to move about within a shed.
Mr. Surendra Singh, director of Skylark Hatcheries, said after touring cage-free systems in the United States that he is encouraged to adopt cage-free housing for commercial egg-laying hens.
“After visiting the HSI office and staff, my faith in this society [HSI] increased,” Singh said. Skylark Hatcheries is one of the largest poultry companies in India.
Nitin Goel, HSI’s corporate marketing manager in India, also attended the U.S. tour. He will now be touring poultry belts throughout India, educating producers about cage-free housing systems for egg-laying hens.
“Around the world, the trend is away from outdated battery cage systems and toward a more humane and sustainable approach to producing eggs,” he said. “I look forward to working with egg producers throughout India on this important transition.”
- India's factory farms confine more than 100 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.
- In India, factory farms that confine more than 50,000 birds within a single shed are increasingly common.
- While cage-free does not mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and the hens are able to act more naturally than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside, but they are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests — all behaviors denied to hens confined in battery cages.
For more information on HSI’s campaign against battery cages in India, contact Nitin Goel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 921-518-7888.
HSI is the international arm of the Humane Society of the United States, an animal welfare organization with 10.5 million supporters. HSI maintains programs around the world, including in India, to alleviate inhumane practices affecting animals. HSI’s India Factory Farming Campaign seeks to improve the welfare of animals kept in industrial-scale intensive confinement systems, such as hens housed in battery cages for commercial egg production. For more information on HSI’s campaign against battery cages, please visit hsi.org/india/compassion.