For Immediate Release:
3 July 2020
Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera ; [email protected]
Following Complaint by PETA India, State Animal Husbandry Department Issues Order
Patna – Following appeals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India regarding the common poultry industry practice of killing male and other unwanted chicks in illegal ways, the Bihar joint director of animal husbandry issued directions to district animal husbandry officers to take steps to ensure that poultry hatcheries stop using any cruel and illegal chick-killing methods and the state government also made a pioneering policy decision that once in ovo sex determination technology – which identifies male embryos at an early stage of development so that an egg, rather than a live bird, can be destroyed – is commercially available in India, the killing of male chicks must be stopped.
Currently, the egg industry commonly kills male chicks because they can’t lay eggs, while both the meat and egg industries routinely destroy other unwanted chicks, including those who are weak or deformed. Common killing methods include grinding, crushing, burning, drowning, and even feeding them alive to fish.
A copy of the joint director’s order, video footage and photographs of the killing of chicks in India as well as a report on it is available for download upon request.
In its appeals, PETA India pointed out that the common cruel methods of killing unwanted chicks violate Section 11(1)(l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The group requested that the animal husbandry department stop any cruel killing methods practised by poultry hatcheries and that the government require the egg industry to use in ovo sex-determination technology as soon as it becomes available. This new technology is being developed abroad and will be commercially available soon.
“The gruesome killing of countless male chicks simply because they can’t lay eggs is cruel and should be stopped,” says PETA India CEO and veterinarian Dr Manilal Valliyate. “We’re grateful to the Bihar government for recognising that this cruel killing must end and for setting a benchmark for all the other states and union territories in the country to follow.”
According to the 2019 report on Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics released by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Bihar is one of the major egg-producing states in the country – making it especially imperative that it implement in ovo sexing technology as soon as it’s commercially available.
At PETA India’s urging, the animal husbandry departments of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have also issued similar orders directing an end to current illegal and cruel chick-killing practices.
Germany – which has invested €5 million (Rs 400 million) in 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.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.