Uttarakhand HC Issues Directions For Humane Treatment Of Poultry Animals [Read Order]
The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday issued guidelines to be observed by the Centre and the State for humane treatment of poultry animals.
The Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Kr. Tiwari further directed the Centre to consider framing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules, on the basis of the recommendations made by the Law Commission of India (LCI) in its 269th report within six months.
It ordered, “Ordinarily, this Court will not direct the Union of India for framing of Rules but since, in the present case, the recommendations have already been made by the Law Commission in its 269th Meeting, we deem it fit to request the Union of India to frame the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules.”
The Court was hearing a petition filed by one Ms. Gauri Maulekhi, demanding prohibition of the usage of battery cage facilities for housing poultry egg-laying hens, and an assurance for closure of all illegal meat shops and slaughterhouses.
She had alleged that provisions of Chapter VII of the Transport of Animal Rules, 1978, which deal with the transport of poultry by rail, road and air, were not being complied with. She had further drawn the attention of the court to the recommendations made by the LCI in its 269th Report, wherein it had taken note of the cruel treatment meted out to hens used for the production of eggs, and had directed,
“With a view to curtail the cruel practices of confining birds in battery cages, it is necessary to have a distinction between the produce obtained from healthy farming of hens in cage-free environment and the produce obtained from battery cage farming. Towards this end, certification by the Animal Husbandry Departments of the States, recognising that the poultry farms follow the practice of cage-free egg farming, is desirable. This would enable the consumer to select the produce obtained from healthy farming and will result in discouraging battery cage farming.”
The LCI had also drafted the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules, 2017 therein. On enquiry about the formulation of these Rules by the Centre, the Court was informed that they were under process. It then directed the Centre to frame the Rules on the basis of the LCI recommendations. It further issued the following directions:
- The respondent-State is directed to strictly enforce the letter dated 18.4.2013 (Annexure No.5) in letter and spirit forthwith. Usage of battery cage facilities is banned throughout the State of Uttarakhand. Sufficient space should be allowed for the housing of each egg laying hen to permit the bird to spread its wings, stand up straight, turn round without touching another bird or the side of the cage. The bird must have access to nest box.
- The State Government is directed to ensure that while transporting the poultry, the containers are properly cleaned and sterilised before the poultry is placed in them.
- The poultry shall not be exposed to the sunlight, rain and direct blast of air during transport.
- There shall be a ban on transportation of poultry when the temperature exceeds 25 degree Celsius or when the temperature falls below 15 degree Celsius.
- The day-old chicks and turkey poults shall be packed and dispatched as per Rule 78 of the Transport of Animal Rules, 1978. The chicks or poults shall be properly fed and watered before and during transportation.
- The State Government is directed to ensure that the containers used to transport poultry shall be made of such material which shall not collapse or crumble and they shall be well ventilated and designed to protect the health of poultry by giving it adequate space and safety. The size of the container should be as prescribed under Rule 83(d) of the Rules of 1978.
- The wire mesh or a net of any material shall not be used as a bottom for the containers.
- No poultry shall be transported continuously for more than 6 hours and whole batch shall be inspected at every 6 hours interval. The transportation shall not remain stationary for more than 30 min and during this period, it shall be parked in shade and arrangements shall be made for feeding and watering.
- All precautions against fire shall be taken and provision of fire extinguishers in transfer is also ordered to be provided.
- The Union of India is requested to consider framing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules, on the basis of the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 269th Meeting within six months.
Read the Order Here