An investigation conducted by an animal rights group has revealed cruelty that millions of ‘useless’ male chicks are subjected to before being killed by top poultry companies in the Indian egg and meat industries. The probe by Anonymous for Animal Rights was conducted last year and obtained by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
The eyewitness investigation of several hatcheries and farms in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has documented, via a video, cruel practices – which include incubation, sexing, debeaking, burning, drowning among other atrocities – against chicks while they are still alive. The video also documented how unwanted chicks were being tossed into large grinders and drowned in bins full of water even as they tried desperately to escape, while others being crushed or suffocated to death by dumping en masse into large drums or trucks.
Watch video here
With India being the third-largest producer of eggs and fourth-largest producer of chicken meat, the investigative video alleges that various killing methods are being employed by these companies.
Citing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, PETA India pointed out that the abuse against chicks is against the law. It also called on the public to go vegan and the government to consider new in ovo sexing technology, in which chicks’ gender is determined before they hatch. This could potentially prevent large-scale deaths of male chicks and in the process could implement a written standard for painless euthanasia for unhealthy chicks.
Reflecting on the plight of tiny birds, PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura said, “From packing mutilated hens into tiny cages to grinding up, drowning, and burning live chicks, the egg and meat industries are rife with cruelty.” She also urged the people to adopt plant-based diets in order to avoid cruelty against animals.
Among notable recommendations, the animal welfare group has urged the industry to ensure the humane transport of chicks and provide hens who are used for their eggs with more space to avoid debeaking.
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