Maha govt orders use of technology to stop cruel ways of killing unwanted poultry chicks
In a move aimed at stopping the cruel methods of killing unwanted male poultry chicks, the Maharashtra Commissionerate of Animal Husbandry has given instructions to the authorities to make use of the technology that identifies male embryos at an early stage of development so that eggs rather than live birds can be destroyed.
Currently, chicks unwanted by the egg and meat industries are killed by using methods like grinding, crushing, burning, drowning or being fed to fish.
In a circular issued on May 24, the commissionerate directed the district animal husbandry commissioners and the District Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to make use of the ovo sex-determination technology when it becomes commercially available in India. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said in a release that it had pointed out that the usual cruel methods of killing unwanted chicks violate sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It requested the state to take steps towards ending any cruel killing methods as practised by poultry hatcheries and suggested the use of ovo sex-determination technology, saying that it has been developed abroad and has been in use. In the circular, the commissionerate directed the use of in ovo sex-determination technology when it becomes commercially available in India. The directions were issued following instructions from the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries. The commissionerate also said that in the meantime, unwanted chicks should be handled by methods prescribed by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Animal Welfare Board of India.
PETA India Deputy Director of Advocacy Projects Harshil Maheshwari said the horrific killing of male chicks simply because they can't lay eggs is cruel and should be stopped immediately. ''We thank Maharashtra's government for recognising the need to spare countless chicks gruesome deaths and urge it to help bring in ovo technology to India immediately,'' she said. The animal husbandry departments of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Goa have committed to using in ovo sex-determination technology when it becomes available in India, PETA India claimed.
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