Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to Crack Down on Cruel and Illegal Chick Killing by the Poultry Industry

Posted on by PETA

After PETA India sent a letter to Maharashtra’s Department of Animal Husbandry regarding the standard egg industry practice of killing unwanted male chicks– because they can’t lay eggs – in apparently illegal ways, the additional commissioner of animal husbandry for Maharashtra, Dr Dhananjay Parkale, issued an order to district collectors and the district’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Likewise, after PETA India’s letter to the director of animal husbandry for Uttar Pradesh, Dr UP Singh, issued an order to all district chief veterinary officers.

The Maharashtra order calls for officials to instruct poultry hatcheries to stop using crude killing methods and instead use means recommended by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and ensure that The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, isn’t violated. The Uttar Pradesh order calls for officials to instruct poultry hatcheries to stop using crude killing methods. The egg industry commonly kills male chicks—since they can’t lay eggs—and it and the meat industry also kills others who are weak or otherwise unwanted by grinding, crushing, burning, or drowning them – and even feeding them while they’re still alive to fish.

In its letter, PETA India points out that the common cruel methods of killing unwanted chicks apparently violate Section 11(1) (l) of the PCA Act, 1960. PETA India has requested that the state’s poultry hatcheries use methods prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and that the government require that the egg industry use in ovo sex-determination technology as soon as it’s available.

This new technology, which has been developed abroad and will be commercially available soon, would allow eggs with male embryos to be destroyed in the early stage of development and spare live chicks a horrific death.

Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are among the top egg-producing states in the country – according to a 2019 report on Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics released by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries – making it especially imperative that the states implement in ovo sexing technology as soon as it’s commercially available.

Germany – which has invested €5 million (Rs 400 million) in developing sex-determination technology – as well as France and Switzerland have taken steps towards banning the shredding of live male chicks, which is commonly practised abroad.

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