July 31, 2020


India's Assam government urge poultry farmers to stop cruel killing



The Assam government of India has directed the state's poultry hatchers to immediately cease all illegal and cruel methods of killing of male or unwanted chicks, New Indian Express reported.


The directive was issued following appeals made by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. It had highlighted the common poultry industry practice of killing male and unwanted chicks in illegal ways.


"It has been brought to the notice that millions of male chicks (since they can't lay eggs) and chicks who are deformed, sick or low grade are considered useless by the poultry industries and killed via various illegal and cruel methods, which include drowning, burning, grinding and suffocating them or even transporting them to be eaten alive at fish farms.


"Some chicks dyed with chemicals and distributed or sold in villages to children also typically die soon from the paint, neglect or other reasons," Assam's Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department wrote to poultry hatchers in an advisory.


Pointing out that such illegal and cruel methods of killings violate Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and are punishable, it directed the poultry hatchers to immediately stop all such illegal and cruel methods of killings and practise the use of nitrogen and inert gas method of controlled atmospheric killing to euthanise male/unwanted chicks as they cause the least amount of pain and result in less overall suffering.


This method has been already prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Law Commission of India and the World Organisation for Animal Health to handle unwanted chicks.


The Assam government also directed the poultry hatchers to stop the practice of killing day-old male chicks and adopt ovo sex-determination technology once it is commercially available.


Welcoming the Assam government's order, PETA India senior advocacy officer Harshil Maheshwari said the gruesome killing of the countless male chicks was cruel and hence, should be stopped.


"We are grateful to the Assam government for recognising that this cruel killing must end and for setting a benchmark for all the other states and union territories to follow," Maheshwari added.