News 4 commentsupdate:Mar 9, 2016

Calls for ‘battery cage’ ban in India

Animal welfare activists are urging the Indian Government to bring in timelines to phase out the use of “barren battery cages” in the country’s poultry farms.

In a letter to Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, President of the World Council of Arya Samaj, Swami Agnivesh decried the poultry industry’s inhumane confinement of hens.

“An overwhelming majority of hens used in the egg industry are consigned to barren battery cages, which are so small that each bird is given a space no larger than A4 size sheet of paper. The battery cages prevent all forms of natural behaviors, such as nesting, perching and roosting, scratching and foraging, exercising and spreading their wings. I urge the Government of India to ban such a barbaric practice of confining egg laying hens.”

The Animal Welfare Board of India has issued a directive that the practice of confining hens in barren battery cages clearly violates the provisions of Section 11(1) (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The provisions require that animals confined to cages be provided with reasonable opportunity for movement. Further, the confinement of hens in overcrowded and unhygienic battery cages facilitates the immune suppression in birds, providing a breeding ground for foodborne diseases like Salmonella.

N. G. Jayasimha, HSI/India managing director, states: “We encourage the Government of India to move the Indian poultry industry towards being a global leader in animal welfare. They should immediately establish clear timelines to phase out the use of barren battery cages in Indian poultry farms.”

World Poultry


  • Sanakkayala Niranjan

    In India bird are not kept in battery cages. you are all being misguided.Hardly 0.05 % layer birds kept in battery cages and that too its recent development 2-3 years it has pickedup. I agree birds are kept in cages 85 % layers are in cages. I will be happy First we should talk of HUMAN WELFARE many of people are in india donot have roof and stay in congested house no one talks about that issue.Now comes ANIMAL WELFARE ACTIVISITS it has become fashion to talk about animal welfare and organic food.
    I can assure these bird are in battery cages more happy then most of you.
    They are kept in at air condition air at 25 Centigrade have good ventilation and lighting and food 24 hous. clean polution free atmosphere no ammonia gas and stress free conditions.
    Egg is cheapest source of protein for our poor masses produced by- product creals and which are not consumed by human being. As mass production is needed for growing masses we have to intensify productions. There no alternative otherwise it goes out of reach of masses.

  • K.S. Arora

    It is in the interest of poultry farmer to give adequate space, proper temperature , ventilation and best nutrition to the birds so that he can have good production and low moralities. How can he be cruel to the birds who are source of his livelihood. Moreover comments by people like Swami Agnivesh who do not an iota of business of Poultry Farming and also are well insulated from the stark realities of very low availability of good animal protein to masses at reasonable prices, should not be taken seriously. Can we compare ourselves to the conditions prevailing in EU where even today farming community is not very happy about the new law enforced and consumer is protesting about the high prices of eggs as a consequence.

  • Hendrik Sikma

    These demands are made from saturated people mostly in official jobs or for ngo orgnisations. They have no knowledge of animal production and the rules. If a production is according their intended new rules you immediately see a doubling of the losses a decrease in growth and a lot more of manure according to a worse FCR. A normal workmen can not afford to buy animal products that are produced under their ideological conditions. Only the rich and well situated people are able to eat meat, eggs or milk. It is the same story as with the golden rice. This helpful agricultural future would have been able to save hundred thousends of lives a year. But due to ideological reasons it is not welcomed in many countries. I blame a lot of these governments for that. But this are exactly the people who want us to produce according their stupid costful rules.

  • ATHANGUDI Venugopalan

    battery cages of rearing poultry
    as per state and central animal health laws of india enacted during the period 1900 to 2008 word animal definition does not include poultry. after the avian influenza episode from 2003 govt of INDIA amended act 9 of 1898 ie livestock importation act. to meet the food safety requirements of importing countries govt of INDIA enacted a central act 27 of 2009 ie prevention and control of diseases. in this act also no coverage of housing of poultry. free living birds are carriers of avian influenza viruses. if poultry are reared in open ai infection can happen. since 2013 a variant strain of ai virus has emerged in CHINA potential pathogen for human and low pathogenic for poultry. eveni in EUROPE - FREE LIVING OF POULTRY IS CURBED DUE TO AVIAN INFLUENZA. CLOSURE OF CAGE SYSTEM AND REARING POULTRY IS NOT FEASIBLE UNDER INDIAN CONDITIONS. IF DONE IT MAY LEAD TO SPREAD OF INFLUENZA IN POULTRY AND HUMAN BEINGS

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