The Commission has drafted ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules, 2017 and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules, 2017’ and recommended the Govt. to implement it.
Law Commission of India has submitted its 269th Report titled “Transportation and House-keeping of Egg-laying hens (layers) and Broiler Chickens” for the consideration of the Government.
Law Commission Chairman Justice BS Chouhan has submitted the report to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The Law Commission of India received a reference dated 2nd March 2017, from the Ministry of Law and Justice asking the Commission to look into the existing laws and international practices on the transport and housekeeping of poultry birds. Then the Commission made an Appeal on its website requesting all stakeholders to forward their views to the Commission, on rearing, transport, maintenance and sale of poultry or any other relevant issues in this regard.
Summary of Recommendations
The existing legal framework governing the transport of animals is adequate and shall be implemented to ensure that unnecessary pain and suffering is not inflicted on poultry during transit. The responsibility of compliance shall lie on the consignor and consignee, and any person in charge of care of such consignment as provided under section 3 of the PCA Act.
The very idea of having this report is to put an end to the cruel practices of confining birds in battery cages. With this object in mind, the Commission recommends certification of poultry farms by the Animal Husbandry Departments of the States, where a distinction of produce obtained from cage free egg farming from that obtained from battery cage farming, is drawn.
Given the gravity of the issue of battery cages and the fact that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules Bill has been pending since 2012, the proposed modifoed rules should be considered for being notified. These rules are modified keeping in view the constitutional provisions and the object of the PCA Act.
Weight of birds should be an important factor in calculation of maximum stocking density. It is also noticed that there is no regulation with respect to stocking density and other housing conditions, therefore 25 necessary amendments in regulations for housing and stocking density of broiler birds and other relevant provisions in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules, 2017 are expressed.
On perusal of the Slaughter House Rules, 2001, as well as the FSS Regulations, 2011, the Commission is of the opinion that the procedures and standards prescribed in these rules/regulations are satisfactory. Their compliance in letter and spirit will meet the aims and objects of the regulations.
In view of the analysis in chapter IV above, it is also recommended that the provisions of the PCA Act prescribing punishment for inflicting cruelty on animals be amended to provide for stringent punishments.