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

For Immediate Release:
28 May 2020

Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera ; [email protected]

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

Thiruvananthapuram – 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 director of animal husbandry of Kerala urged district animal husbandry officers to take steps to ensure that private hatcheries are not handling unwanted chicks in cruel ways. 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 as well, including those who are weak or deformed. Common killing methods include grinding, crushing, burning, drowning, or even feeding them alive to fish. (The director confirmed that male chicks on government farms are not destroyed in this way.)

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 has requested that the Animal Husbandry Department stop any cruel killing methods practised by poultry hatcheries in the state and that the government require the egg industry to use in ovo sex-determination technology as soon as it is 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 are 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 Kerala government is calling for a crackdown on the private 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, Kerala 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, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh have also issued similar orders directing an end to illegal and cruel practices for killing chicks.

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