India: Court issues notice on hens in battery cages
A court in Chandigarh, the capital city of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, has issued notice to the Governments of India, Punjab and Haryana, the Poultry Federation of India and the Animal Welfare Board of India on a petition filed by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations against confining egg-laying hens in battery cages.
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% 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.
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