Gujarat to Crack Down on Illegal and Cruel Chick-Killing by Poultry Industry

For Immediate Release:
27 July 2020

Contact:
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Monica Chopra; [email protected]

Following Complaint by PETA India, Gujarat State Animal Welfare Board Issues Order

Gandhinagar – Following appeals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India regarding the common poultry industry practice of killing male chicks and other unwanted chicks in apparently illegal ways, the joint director of the Gujarat State Animal Welfare Board issued an order urging district SPCA officials to take steps to ensure that poultry hatcheries stop using any cruel chick-killing methods which violate The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. The egg industry commonly kills chicks who are male because they can’t lay eggs, while both the meat and egg industries routinely destroy other unwanted chicks as well, including those who are weak or deformed. Common killing methods include grinding, crushing, burning, drowning, or even feeding them alive to fish.

A copy of the joint director’s order 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 PCA Act, 1960. The group requested that the state 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, which has been developed abroad and will be commercially available soon, would allow eggs with male embryos to be destroyed in an early stage of development and spare live chicks a horrific death.

A report on and video footage and photographs of the killing of chicks in India is available for download upon request.

“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 that the Gujarat government is calling for a crackdown on the poultry industry’s common cruel and illegal methods of killing unwanted chicks. Members of the public who are concerned about these animals can help by choosing to eat vegan.”

According to the 2019 report on Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics released by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Gujarat 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 governments of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu have also issued orders directing an end to illegal and cruel practices for killing chicks. Furthermore, the governments of Assam, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh have set an example by committing to implementing in ovo sexing technology, once commercially available, to stop the killing of male chicks altogether.

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.

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