Guwahati, May 16: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has urged the Assam government to ban “cruel” methods of killing male chicks by poultry hatcheries and instead use nitrogen and inert gases.
A release by the animal rights body on Friday said, the “cruel” practices such as grinding, crushing, burning, drowning and feeding male chicks alive to fish violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Indian Penal Code.
“The gruesome killing of countless male chicks simply because they can’t lay eggs is cruel and can be stopped,” the release quoted PETA India CEO and veterinarian Dr Manilal Valliyate as saying.
The NGO asked the Assam government to implement the use of nitrogen and inert gases as recommended by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the Law Commission of India (LCI) and the World Organisation for Animal Health.
It also urged the state government to replace these methods with in ovo sex-determination technology to prevent the birth of male chicks once it is commercially available.
The sex-determination technology, which has been developed abroad and will be commercially available soon, will allow eggs with male embryos to be destroyed at an early stage of development and spare live chicks a horrific death, Valliyate said.
Following humane moves by the governments of France, Switzerland and Germany to phase out the grinding of unwanted male chicks to death, PETA India has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask the Indian egg industry to follow suit, the release said.
Recently at PETA India’s request, the animal husbandry departments of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra issued orders for a complete prohibition on illegal and cruel practices to kill chicks in hatcheries and further directed that the methods recommended by the AWBI and LCI be adopted, it added.
“The government is already taking steps towards using sex-sorted semen to prevent the birth of male calves which are considered worthless by the dairy industry, typically abandoned, left to starve or slaughtered for beef,” Valliyate said.(PTI)