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

For Immediate Release:
18 March 2020

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Radhika Suryavanshi; [email protected]

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

Mumbai – After receiving a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India regarding the standard egg industry practice of killing unwanted male chicks – because they can’t lay eggs – in apparently illegal ways, the additional commissioner of Animal Husbandry, Maharashtra, Dr Dhananjay Parkale, issued an order to the district collectors and the district’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The order calls on the officials to instruct poultry hatcheries to stop using crude killing methods and ensure that The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, is not violated. The egg industry commonly kills male chicks and others who are weak or otherwise unwanted by grinding, crushing, burning, and drowning the animals – and even feeding them live to fish.

In its letter to the state government, PETA India points out that the common cruel methods of killing unwanted chicks apparently violate Section 11(1)(l) of the PCA Act, 1960. The group has requested 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 the early stage of development and spare live chicks a horrific death.

A report, video footage, and photographs of the killing of chicks in India are available 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 are grateful that the Maharashtra government is calling for a crackdown on the common cruel and illegal killing of unwanted chicks by the poultry industry. Members of the public who are concerned about these animals can help by choosing to eat vegan.”

Maharashtra is one of the top egg-producing states in the country – according to the 2019 report on Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics released by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries – making it especially imperative that it implement in ovo sexing technology as soon as it’s commercially available.

Germany – which has invested €5 million (Rs 400 million) in developing 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. The Swiss parliament noted, “[O]ne can wonder whether the act of killing a chick for the sole reason that it is a male from a line of laying hens is acceptable. This tendency to breed only for eggs or for meat transforms the animal into a simple object of production and leads to absurdities such as the grinding of live male chicks, an action unworthy of human intelligence.”

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