High Court at Hyderabad Directs Animal Welfare Board and Poultry Companies to File Response Over Gruesome Killing of Chicks

For Immediate Release:

27 June 2019


Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

PETA India Seeks Changes After Exposé Shows Male and Other Unwanted Chicks Were Burned, Drowned, Crushed, and Killed in Other Cruel Ways

Hyderabad – Today, after hearing a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad directed the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and poultry companies in the state of Telangana to file their responses. The order came following a Public Interest Litigation filed by PETA India seeking the court’s direction to stop the poultry industry from using various haphazard and hideously cruel methods of killing male and other unwanted chicks. The egg industry considers most male chicks useless because they can’t produce eggs and aren’t the type used for meat. Chickens used for meat are bred to have fleshier upper bodies, and those used for eggs are bred to produce an unnatural number of eggs.

The petition follows an eyewitness exposé of several hatcheries and farms in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which revealed that millions of male and other unwanted chicks are commonly ground up, drowned, burned, suffocated, crushed, and even fed to other animals while still alive by major Indian egg and meat suppliers. Soon after PETA India released the investigation, NDTV visited poultry farms in Karnal, Haryana, and found that live, unwanted chicks were discarded in open fields and left to be eaten by dogs by one facility.

Video footage released by PETA India of the killing of unwanted chicks and a report on the chicks’ plight are available on request

“Consumers have a right to know that male chicks are killed by the egg industry and that this is done using methods such as grinding them up; crushing, suffocating, or drowning them; or burning them alive,” says PETA India Associate Director of Policy Nikunj Sharma. “PETA India is calling on the industry at least to handle unwanted chicks as per World Organisation for Animal Health standards in order to reduce suffering and urging it to pledge to adopt in ovo sexing technology as soon as it’s commercially available, which would determine chicks’ sex long before they hatch and spare males gruesome deaths. We’re also letting consumers know that if they want no part in this cruelty, they can simply go vegan.”

The exposé revealed that unwanted chicks were tossed into large grinders while still alive, along with eggshells and dead birds. Some were drowned in bins of water from which they tried desperately to escape for up to 30 minutes, while others were tossed onto fires and burned to death or were crushed or suffocated to death by being dumped en masse into large drums or lorries. Workers also transported chicks to fish farms, where they tossed them into ponds to be eaten alive – and if they tried to escape, they were kicked back into the water.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – points out that India is a member country of the World Organisation for Animal Health and should at least adhere to its standards by handling unwanted chicks in ways that minimise suffering. The companies featured in the footage captured during the eyewitness investigation – and supplied to PETA India by Animals Now (formerly known as Anonymous for Animal Rights) – include Suguna Foods, SR Group, SH Group, Diamond Hatcheries, and Skylark Hatcheries.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.