July 27, 2011
India's farmers warned against starving hens for eggs
With the poultry boom in Rajasthan, India, making it the hub for the sector in the country, the state government has issued a stern warning to egg producers to stop starving hens for eggs.
The state department of Animal husbandry has directed the veterinary officers to ensure that egg producers comply with the Animal Welfare Board of India's order against starvation force molting regimes.
Starvation forces hens to moult, which is widely practiced in egg production facilities throughout India, deprives egg-laying hens of food for up to 14 days and may be combined with one to two days of water deprivation in order to manipulate their egg-laying cycle.
The Animal Board said starvation force molting is a punishable offence under the country's prevention of cruelty to Animal Act of 1960 and ordered all egg production facilities to immediately discontinue the practice.
The practice of food withdrawal is prohibited in Australia, the EU and the US.
N. G. Jayasimha of an animal welfare organisation said: "We are grateful to the government of Rajathan and we hope that egg laying farms comply with this order".
With poultry firms swarming Jajjhar, Bhiwani and Narnaul areas of Rajasthan, the state has become hub of the poultry industry.