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Animal welfare and food safety law violations in chicken production

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A second new study by Animal Equality brings to light the cruel practices followed by chicken farms that violate the most basic animal welfare and food safety standards. 

Animal Equality, an animal protection organisation based in Pune, investigated several chicken farms and meat markets from Feb 2019 to Oct 2020 in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which are known for their chicken production. They found:

It is a standard practice to give feed laden with antibiotics to grow the bodies of chickens unnaturally fast. Their legs get crippled because of the unnatural weight gain. They can’t walk or reach the food or water. Many chickens fall ill and die of starvation, others die of heart attacks or respiratory infections. The carcasses are left to rot among living birds. Once they reach their maximum weight, the chickens are crammed into the transport truck in large numbers.

The birds are sent on rigorous journeys which last for hours, sometimes days without food or water. Many die while the rest are barely alive.

The live chickens are brutally pulled out in groups and weighed by hanging them upside down. At the meat market chickens are crammed into small cages for hours and sometimes days without any food or water.

Many chickens lined up for slaughter develop various infections and diseases. There is no health inspection conducted on them. Their throats are slit and they are thrown into drain bins where they languish in pain for several minutes before they die.

The meat is prepared in the most filthiest conditions. 

Amruta Ubale, Senior Director of Public Affairs says, “This is our second study into chicken farms. After exposing the cruel and illegal practices on chicken farms in 2017, we presented our findings to the government along with a list of recommendations to reduce the suffering of chickens. Some of these recommendations are included in the Law Commission’s proposed rules for the welfare of chickens. And we are requesting the government to also introduce our other recommendations.”

Animal Equality has also requested the government to:

1. stop the slaughter of chickens at meat shops, markets, etc and implement the slaughter provisions in the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food businesses) Regulation, 2011 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001.

2. introduce in ovo sex determination technology to avoid the killing of male chicks

3. form a central committee to monitor welfare of farmed animals and appoint a sub committee at every district and taluka level

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