May 13, 2013
Hope for Hens: India Agrees That Battery Cages Are Illegal
HSI/India has successfully persuaded the majority of Indian states—including the top egg-producing states—to declare that confining hens to battery cages violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
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.
No to cruelty
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.
HSI/India has been following up with all the state Animal Husbandry departments in the country convincing them to issue a directive that it is a violation of the PCA Act to confine hens to battery cages. Accordingly, most of them have told their officers and poultry farmers to phase out or avoid battery cages and stay vigilant against new cage facilities.
Enforcement remains a concern and we will continue to do what we must to ensure that intensive confinement of laying hens is brought to an end. We are also working with the Government of India to end this practice in the remaining parts of the country and bring in regulations for rearing egg-laying hens in India as recommended by the AWBI.
How to help
You can help by urging the Government of India to notify the rules for egg laying hens as suggested by the AWBI.
With your support, we hope to make India a battery cage-free country within four years!
Read a comment on this news by Wayne Pacelle, president & CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.