July 28, 2011
HSI and Animal Welfare Board of India Ask Commerce Minister to Prohibit FDI that Introduces Intensive Farming Systems
NEW DELHI, India—Humane Society International and the Animal Welfare Board of India have asked Shri. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce & Industry, to prohibit foreign direct investment for the rearing of animals in cages, crates, or other forms of intensive confinement that violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
The organizations sent letters to Minister Sharma in response to a new Government of India policy encouraging 100 percent FDI for the rearing of animals under intensive farming systems. Internationally, the animal agribusiness sector is known for intensive systems that confine egg laying hens, breeding sows and other farm animals in cages and crates that prevent them from walking, fully stretching their limbs and performing many other important natural behaviors.
The AWBI letter states that India’s PCA Act specifically forbids the confinement of “any animals in any cage or receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement.” Conventional egg production systems, which confine laying hens in battery cages that prevent the birds from fully spreading their limbs are allowed by the FDI policy, but are in violation of the PCA Act. Therefore, the new FDI policy may violate the animal protection law enacted by the Parliament of India.
“The government must encourage animal welfare and environmental sustainability within the Indian food sector by only allowing those foreign companies who adhere to high standards for animal welfare, and employing cage-free systems for housing egg laying hens and other animals to enter India,” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI's factory farming campaign in India.
Copies of the letters written by the AWBI and HSI are available on request.
- Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body of Government of India constituted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. At present, the AWBI is working under the aegis of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
- Consolidated FDI Policy D/o IPP F. No. 5(1)/2011-FC Dated 31.03.2011 allow 100 percent foreign direct investment for rearing of animals under intensive farming systems with stall-feeding, as well as poultry breeding farms and hatcheries where micro-climate is controlled through advanced technologies like incubators, ventilation systems etc.
- India’s factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in barren battery cages, where each bird lives within a space smaller than a single standard sized sheet of paper.
- Hotels including Crowne Plaza Today-Gurgaon, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai and Hotel Ramada Plaza New Delhi, as well as specialty restaurant Hao Shi Nian Nian and celebrity Chef Mako Ravindran have ended their procurement of eggs from caged hens.
- The conventional cage has been banned across all 27 EU member states (effective from 1st Jan 2012). The U.S. state of California has banned the use of battery cages from 2015. In July, The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers announced an unprecedented agreement to work together toward the enactment of comprehensive new federal legislation that would ban barren battery cages across the U.S.
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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.