Karnataka to Crack Down on Illegal and Cruel Methods of Killing Unwanted Chickens

For Immediate Release:
9 July 2020

Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Following Complaint by PETA India, State Animal Husbandry Department Issues Order

Bengaluru – Following a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that unwanted chickens are being buried alive in Karnataka, the commissioner of animal husbandry issued an order stating that killing birds using such methods is a violation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and directed district animal husbandry officers to ensure that the provisions of the Act are implemented in case of outbreaks of zoonotic diseases (those that can spread from animals to humans). The order further states that such outbreaks and matters relating to unwanted birds must be reported to the concerned officials, as mandated by the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, and necessary actions must be taken per the guidelines issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

In March, following reports that poultry farmers in the districts of Belagavi and Kolar buried alive nearly 16,000 chickens in response to coronavirus fears, PETA India fired off a letter to Karnataka’s Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services asking it to issue directions immediately to stop the use of cruel and illegal methods of killing unwanted birds and to implement the recommendations of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the OIE in handling unwanted birds.

A copy of the commissioner’s order is available for download upon request.

“The barbarity of the farmers’ acts is a reminder to the public that whether they’re buried alive or their throats are slit, chickens reared for meat meet a painful, gruesome end,” says PETA India CEO and veterinarian Dr Manilal Valliyate. “We’re grateful to the Karnataka government for recognising that the burial of live animals must stop. Members of the public who are concerned about these and other animals can help by choosing to eat vegan.”

A slow death by suffocation through a live burial causes birds unnecessary pain and suffering. The AWBI issued advisories in 2012 and 2014 regarding the adoption of OIE guidelines for the mass killing of animals for disease control purposes. As India is a member of the OIE and animal husbandry is a state matter under the Indian constitution, all state governments are obliged to adhere to the guidelines under Chapter 7.6 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code. The code states that these general principles should also apply when animals are killed in other situations, such as after natural disasters.

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.