For Immediate Release:
23 March 2020
Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera ; [email protected]
Actions Were Taken by PETA India and State in Response to Farmers’ Cruel Steps Over Coronavirus
Mumbai – Acting on a tip-off that a poultry farmer and hatchery owner in Paladhi, Jalgaon district, planned to bury young chickens – including day-old chicks – alive over coronavirus fears, a team including District Deputy Commissioner of Animal Husbandry Dr Sanjay Gaikwad and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Manager of Veterinary Services Dr Rashmi Gokhale sprang into action and rescued 150 birds. The young birds are now being rehabilitated in a sanctuary with the help of PETA India.
Pictures of the rescued birds are available for download upon request.
Meanwhile, after being notified by PETA India that a poultry farmer in Dahanu, Palghar district, reportedly buried nearly 2 lakh chickens alive, also in response to coronavirus fears, Maharashtra Commissioner of Animal Husbandry Sachindra Pratap Singh issued a directive to the Regional Assistant Commissioner of Animal Husbandry, Mumbai region, instructing him to visit the incident site personally, conduct a detailed inspection, and take immediate action as required under the provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and other relevant laws. The order also asks for a report on the action taken.
The Commissioner’s order can be viewed and downloaded here.
“We are grateful to the Maharashtra Department of Animal Husbandry for taking action against the cruel killing of birds,” says Dr Gokhale. “However, the public must remember that, whether they’re buried alive or their throats are slit, chickens raised for meat or eggs are always killed cruelly. The rescued birds will now have good lives, but we urge people to spare other chickens misery and safeguard their own health by always choosing to eat vegan.”
The Commissioner’s order also refers to an earlier order, dated 12 March 2020, in which the department directed that unwanted chicks hatched in the state’s poultry hatcheries should be killed only as per the recommendations of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and that all precautions must be taken to ensure that the PCA Act, 1960, isn’t violated. PETA India previously exposed that unwanted chicks – such as males in the egg industry, since they can’t lay eggs – are killed in a variety of hideous ways, including by burning, drowning, or grinding or by being fed alive to fish. Video footage of this killing can be viewed here.
In its letter urging the Department of Animal Husbandry of Maharashtra to act, PETA India explained that burying birds alive is an apparent violation of Sections 3 and 11 of the PCA Act, 1960, and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, a fine, or both.
The department was also requested to encourage the use of mass killing methods that minimise suffering, as recommended by the AWBI and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Article 7.6.16 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (TAHC) advises the addition of anaesthetics to feed or water, followed by an appropriate killing method. This was also recommended by the AWBI to the Department of Animal Husbandry of Kerala during a bird flu outbreak in 2014. The TAHC also states that these general principles should still apply when animals are killed in other situations, such as after natural disasters or to cull their populations.
Chickens used for meat and eggs are arguably the most abused animals on the planet. Farmers force those to be used for their eggs into cages so small that they can’t even stretch a wing. Chickens raised for their flesh, called “broilers” by the poultry industry, spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, and the intense crowding and confinement often lead to outbreaks of disease. They’re bred and drugged to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up, making heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities common.
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.