Ban Battery cage for chickens


Maneka Gandhi

(Bihar Times) In 2012 battery cages for chickens will be formally outlawed in the Europe Union. Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Norway have already banned battery hen cages. This decision comes as a result of the sustained campaigns by millions of Europeans.

Unfortunately in India, the animal welfare groups have not yet taken up the cause of animals raised for food. Fifteen years ago, I went to court to protest the working of Idgah, the main slaughterhouse of Delhi. The Supreme Court shut it down. Fifteen years later an even worse one has come up. But now no one complains because the butchers have learnt their lesson and become partners with their MP and the state government. Consequently no one is allowed to enter it, film anything or look at the records which are been faked everyday to show one tenth of the animals that are actually being killed.

The Supreme Court passed a direction three years ago ordering the Animal Welfare Board of India to inspect all the slaughterhouses. A man on the Board took on the duty to inspect the ones in Kerala. He traveled in a car owned by the butchers. He stayed at posh hotels and he never saw the inside of a single slaughterhouse before he filed his report that “All Izz Well”. He was caught by animal welfare activists when filing fake bills. He is no longer on the Board. But not a single inspection has taken place since.

There are two areas where the animal welfare movement needs to turn its attention to : the cruelty in professional poultries and the traffic and killing of cattle.

While there are thousands of things wrong with the way chickens are reared, one cruelty which can be removed easily if we all get together and campaign is the battery cage for chickens. India's factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in battery cages and there is little "cage-free rearing of chickens." Last month the the Dalai Lama has condemned battery hen farming and is urging consumers to switch to buying eggs from chickens kept outside of cages. "Turning these defenseless animals into egg-producing machines with no consideration for their welfare whatsoever is a degradation of our own humanity," the Buddhist spiritual leader said "Switching to cage-free eggs would reduce the suffering of these animals."


Most caged birds have less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper to move on. They cannot even raise their wings or turn around. Their suffering turns into anger and they try to bite the bird next to them. But they cannot because, anticipating this, the poultry owner has cut off their beaks and their toes with hot knives and no anesthesia.  They live and die in agony

"The abuse we inflict on hens has always been particularly disturbing to me and I have always been particularly concerned toward how these animals are treated in industrial food production," says the Dalai Lama.

I came across a beautiful letter written by an Australian. I thought you should read it:

“I heard a person arguing with another. She said: You want all the dogs to be tied up all the time. Fine. But since we know that dogs feel and behave as humans, as an experiment, let's try replacing the word “dog” with the word “uncle”. Would you feel the same way ?

It got me thinking. What if we followed the logic consistently?

For example:

Replace the word "calf" with "daughter".  Would we still crush her rib cage and kill her?

Replace the word "Sheep" with "sister". Would we still terrify, traumatize and send her to be stabbed to death?

Replace the word "Chicken" with "child". Would we cage her so she couldn't move, burn off her lips, and kill her as soon as we had forcibly fattened her beyond recognition?

Replace the word "cow" with "mother". Would we still drag her screaming on a chain to the kill floor and hack her body into bits, while her friends watched in horror?

Replace the word "food" with "friend". Would we still torture and kill TWO BILLION of our friends every week?

Think of them as humans in another form . That doesn’t mean you get silly and dress up your dogs. It doesn’t mean beds with linen, hundred-dollar dresses, obesity-inducing diets, nail polish spas, handmade soap and doggie mascara. It means you start thinking of chickens, pigs, cows, buffaloes, goats who are crammed into small spaces, fed rubbish and then killed after breaking all their limbs in overloaded trucks. Frightened babies are torn from their distraught mothers. Chickens have their beaks cut off; cows have their horns pulled from their heads; pigs are castrated—all without painkillers. Then they are herded into filthy, slippery transport trucks and taken to slaughterhouses where they are strung up by their legs and their throats are slit.

Even if you are vegetarian, what are you doing against these horrifying crimes? What will your answer be?

The first thing we need to demand is that the Indian Ministry for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry put down the law to order all poultries to keep only cage free birds.

Cage-free does not always mean "cruelty-free" but cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and are able to act more naturally than caged hens. If Europe can do it so can we.

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in


previous articles...

Ban Battery cage for chicken

Varieties of Chicken we eat

Slaughter houses and increased crime rates

Breeds of dog in India

Cruelty to animals on the occasion of festivals

Real foods spoil very quickly, fast foods not

 The Myth of Swine & Avian Flu in India

Fish eating causes health hazard

Animal sacrifice in Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand  

Difference between Veg and Non-veg

Virgin Mary among Lizards

Nature-the most inspiring model for our Ecosystems

Role of denial in eating of Meat

The Technology of Synthetic Milk

Honeybee-the insect for human food chain

 Why do dogs bark

Characteristics of varieties of caterpillars

Emotional Complexity of Animals

Meat eating causes diseases

Rat in Hindu mythology

Which animal you are

Man’s alter ego-an Animal

Career in management of welfare of Animals

Profession of  Pet grooming

What you Eat When you Eat Processed Meat

How to train a dog to make it useful

The Purpose of Minor Beings in Our Ecosystem

Cruelty to Bears in Pakistan

How  Onion Drives Away Viruses

How to save an animal from burn injury

Production of Honey is cruelty to Bee

Meat eating causes Global warming

Hazards of fish factories

Growth of a bird till it flies

Creatures of the world live and help live

Killing a snake brings bad luck

Effects of the startle Reflex on Animals

Awaken Your Soul by Loving Animals

Feeling of grief in Animals

Talking Plants

Altruism in Animals

Music Soothes Animals

How Animals recognize their Kins

Animals teach their offspring like human moms

Cruelty to Animals in Slaughter houses

What is the secret to a perfect life and happiness?

How is Ghee being adulterated ?

Difference between a man & an animal

Homosexuality Is Not Against Nature In Animal Kingdom

Programmes for improving Animal Welfare

Promiscuity in mating behaviour of Birds

Uses for slaughtered Animals accelerate killing of Animals

Slingshots & Catapults Destroy Wild Life

Human Intelligibility of Animals

Animal grooming of offspring is worth emulating

Illegal Trade of Killing Cattle

Eating Cattle Meat Causes E Coli Infection

Some tips on making  Puppies’ life comfortable

Some tips on keeping kittens clean

Snake skin trade dangerous for eco system

Dog shows are not for dog lovers but for moneymakers and charlatans

Political agenda for Animal welfare needed

How foolish it is to kill Sea creatures for Ornaments

Infectious diseases from Animals to Humans

How pitiable is Rabbit farming?

Remedies for Animal ailments

Infected Pig Meat Risks Your Life

Animals spread dangerous Ebola virus to humans

Animals Have More Sense

Municipal Policy on hazards of pet shops

Mutualism  makes Species of the nature flourish

Adoption Fair for Puppies

How Animals behave in packs

Why People prefer dogs and cats to human beings

Positive effects of spaying and neutering on pets

Mammals & Birds cry like human beings

Biomemetics Provides solution to human problems

Chinese food products- the greatest killer

Pets make better partners than humans

How harmful is the Packaged Meat

Stop Slaughter of Cows for Bone Trade

How cruel it is to dump pet animals ? view comments...

Don’t hurt animals on festive occasions

Let the earth beings survive

Glues are made of animal remains

Meat increases risk of cancer

Birds provide springboard to song composers

Is it not an act of Cannibalism?

How many animals do you have to eat before you become man ?

To eat or not to eat Meat

Insulin from Animals 

Is It Healthy Decision to Promote Rat Eating in Bihar

Use of Animal bones in Porcelain

Infection of Tick disease in Dogs and its cure

Vegetarian diet is the best diet for human beings

Non-Veg  Diet causes  Dementia

Excuses for being non-vegetarians

Body odour of Non-vegetarians

Feeling Good

MEAT threatens Planet’s Survival

Am I smarter than you ? Yes, if you are a meat eater.

Need to  orient educational system to deal with animals

How to Avoid Cruelty to Gold Fish?

How To Make Everyday An Animal day

Are Eggs Vegetarian?

Are You One of these People ?

Use of Animal Fats in Cosmetics Industries

Killing of endangered Species for Perfume Industries

Missionary Campaign to Control Cruelty to Animals- needed

Drink Milk, Get Sick

Parents Create Monsters

The Business of Murder:Factory Farming and the Meat Industry in India

Effect of landscaping of birds on environment

Dangers of killing deep Sea-Sharks for  Cosmetic Products

Use of dog in diagnosis of diseases

Sacred Nature of Neelkanth

Cruelty to Polo Ponies comments...

Self-Regulation of Population by Animals

Dangers of Animal meat eating

Arsenic poison in chicken feed

Cruelty to Animals by Govt. Vets

Worship of God with Blood and Suffering of Animals and Birds

Consequences of Chloramphenicol in Shrimp Industry

Hazards of Trade in Peacocks’ Feather

Supreme Court Ban on cruelty to Animals

Are you a Bad Pet Owner?

The Goat That Laughed and Wept

Animal Owners’ personality traits resemble their Pets’

Human Propensities of Goat

Animal sacrifice at the altar of religion

Animal as foster parent

Animal feed from rendering plant

Trade in WildLife

Human Intelligence of Birds

Human Propensities of Cow