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Wired cages in poultry farms killing hens in India, shows survey

Small-wired cages being used in poultry farms are killing hens in India, according to a five-month-long survey conducted by Pune-based NGO Animal Equality.

Taking note of the survey, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) plans to issue show-cause notices to poultry farms using such cages, known as battery cages..

Each cage has a 67-sq inch space, which is less than a single sheet of paper measuring 94 sq inches.

A survey of 20 poultry farms on the outskirts of Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Haryana by between August and December 2016 revealed confining hens in such cages not only leads to a number of deaths, but also leaves them bleeding, with sores, cracked and deformed feet owing to the wired floor of the cages. Some of them were also found to be missing feathers and suffering from abrasions and skin irritations.

In 2012, the AWBI issued an advisory and recommended the Union environment ministry adopt the draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (egg laying hen) Rules and phase out battery cages for egg-laying hens by January 2017. Section 11 (1) (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 prohibits confining birds in battery cages. However, the policy has not been adopted yet.

“We found four to eight hens crammed in a cage which was no bigger than two A4 sheets of papers. Urine and faeces of overcrowded cages stacked on the top falls on the birds in cages below,” said Amruta Ubale, executive director, Animal Equality. “Even in 2017, there is no sign of phasing out these illegal battery cages. All countries in the European Union (EU) have banned the cages. But India is yet to make a policy decision on it.”

Along with the survey, Ubale started an online petition on Thursday to free the birds from these cages, which garnered 500 signatures within a few hours. “Battery cages are against our law and our values. The state governments must step in and implement the ban,” she said.

According to a 2015 report by EU, Indian hens are third largest producer of eggs in the world, after China and USA. As per the 2012 Livestock Census (LC) by the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, total number of egg-laying hens in rural and urban India hatcheries (commercial farms) combined was over 200 million. “We expect a 50% increase in this number in the next census which will be carried out this year,” said Ubale.

Meanwhile, officials from the AWBI said show-cause notices will be issued to all poultry farms under the survey by Friday. “It has been a long-standing issue that we had brought to the notice of the Centre many years ago. Allowing it to continue will spell disaster,” said Dr Chinny Krishna, vice-chairman, AWBI.

“We have decided to ask for explanations from these poultry farms for their cruelty towards these birds. Depending on their response, we will take further action and communicate our stand to the centre,” said Krishna.

Officials from the department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, which is under the aegis of the Ministry of agriculture and farmers, passed the buck onto the Union environment ministry. “While jurisdiction in such matters falls under the domain of the environment ministry, we will examine the issue and give directions to state bodies,” said OP Chaudhary, joint secretary to the department.

WHAT THE ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY HAS TO SAY

“We are aware of the issue and are in the process of making policy changes through a draft notification under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules 2016 for these birds. We will invite suggestions and objections from the public before finalising the document. We will be taking stock of the condition of the birds from state government bodies across the country,” said a senior officer from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

HOW BAD IS THE SITUATION

Four to eight hens are crammed in a cage no bigger than two A4 sheets of papers.

Hens stepping on each other in an attempt to find space to move

It leads bleeding, and leaves hens with sores, cracked and deformed feet

Overcrowded cages are usually stacked one on top of another, causing urine and faeces to fall onto birds in cages kept below

Hens are missing their feathers and suffering from abrasions and skin irritations, probably due to the high concentration of ammonia in the litter

Litter is collected in huge piles underneath the stacked cages and is disposed of once every few weeks. This leads to diseases among consumers and mortality among birds

(Source: Survey by Animal Equality between August and December 2016)

Rise of egg production in India

According to the data published by the department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries in 2015, the total egg production in India increased from 60,267 million in 2009-10 to 74,752 million in 2013-14.

Read more: Supreme Court notice to govt over cruelty against egg-laying farm hens

It seems the chicken was first bred in the Indus Valley

Phase out battery cages for confining hens by 2017: Centre

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/wired-cages-in-poultry-farms-killing-hens-in-india-shows-survey/story-KM7Nd0UZDnxsBc8TDpKvpM.html

Date : 24 Feb 2017


LMC drive to rid city of strays

Lucknow: Stray animals in the city may soon be a thing of the past. From February 27, LMC would be starting a rigorous, 12-day stray-catching drive during nights.

To be held on priority, the drive would be on till March 10. LMC recently increased the capacity of its biggest animal shelter, Kanha Upvan, in Sarojininagar which would help accommodate more stray cattle. The veterinary department would be covering 26 most important police station areas which are more prone to stray cattle-related complaints.

These include almost all major localities, like Mahanagar, Aashiana, Vikasnagar, Chowk, Daliganj, Indiranagar, Aliganj and Gomtinagar. Arvind Rao, LMC’s veterinary officer, said, “The drive would be held at night, between 10am and 4pm, so as not to inconvenience residents.”

Though the corporation catches strays on complaints, it has never launched an organised drive till date. LMC estimates around 3,000 stray cattle to be present in the city. Rao said, “Kanha Upvan now has more sheds to accommodate stray animals. While cattle would be caught at night, stray dogs would be nabbed during daytime.”

Estimates say there are around 59,000 stray dogs in the city, of which 15,000 have been sterilised.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/lmc-drive-to-rid-city-of-strays/articleshow/57320695.cms?

Date : 24 Feb 2017


Animal welfare camp held

Directorate of Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University organised an animal welfare camp at village Kalala in district Barnala under the ICAR sanctioned project “Integrated Approaches for Livestock Development: Farmer’s Context”.

Dr H K Verma, nodal officer of project said that five villages of Mehal Kalan block were selected for providing healthcare, nutritional interventions and training to rural farmers. This project has been sanctioned by the ICAR, New Delhi for Barnala district.

In this camp, animals were treated for gynecological, medicine and surgical problems. A total of 242 animals including cattle, buffalo, goats, pigs and dogs were treated in this camp. The farmers were also acquainted with balanced diet for their animals etc.

Source : http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/ludhiana/community/animal-welfare-camp-held/368703.html

Date : 24 Feb 2017


Amritsar Municipal Corporation remained failed in Implementing Laws to Prevent Dog-Bites

AMRITSAR: In light of the recent incident at Tarn Taran district, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO) has asked the Municipal Corporation of Amritsar to implement a large-scale Animal Birth Control programme to provide a long-term solution that ensures human and animal welfare instead of resorting to short-term, ineffective and illegal methods that displace or destroy dogs.

In a letter written to Commissioner Municipal Corporation Amritsar, Director FIAPO Varda Mehrotra said, The only scientific and successful method of resolving the human-animal conflict and prevent dog bites and rabies is by ensuring a rigorous Animal Birth Control programme, by which street dogs are caught, surgically made sterile and then left at their original territories after being administered a preventive shot of rabies. There are many success stories of the impact of this program; especially in the cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

India’s Apex Animal Rights Organisation asks the Municipal Commissioner to start a large-scale Animal Birth Control Programme

The ABC programme currently undertaken by the Municipal Corporation is inadequately small and thus completely ineffective. Research shows that at least 70% of the dogs need to be sterilised for the programme to have an impact, whereas the current coverage of the AMC is nowhere near that. In a recent order Supreme Court of India, it has been held that, “it is suffice to say that all the State municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act and the Rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness. It is also the duty of all the municipal corporations to provide infrastructure as mandated in the statute and the rules.”

It was further observed that, “no innovative method or subterfuge should be adopted not to carry out the responsibility under the 1960 Act or the 2001 Rules. Any kind of laxity while carrying out statutory obligations is not countenanced in law.” Relocation of dogs is not only illegal, but also causes a dog- vacuum in that location which gives way to the untreated non vaccinated dogs who are not familiar with the locality and often bark at the people crossing by to mark and claim their new territory. It also inhibits from keeping a check on the number of sterilized dog count in the city. Animal Birth Control (dogs), 2001, prohibits the relocation of these animals after treatment.

Varda Mehrotra, said “Large scale and consistent Animal Birth Control programmes are the only way to reduce incidents of dog-bites and rabies. It is the duty of the Municipal Corporations to adhere to rules of the land and only use scientific and legal methods to control dog population. The Animal Birth Control Rules obligates the local authority to conduct sterilization and immunization as a method to control street dogs and if the Municipal Corporation is indeed concerned about the increased dog-bites, it should immediately provide adequate infrastructure and set-up a large-scale ABC programme.”

On being contacted, MC Amritsar said that all the needful in this regard being done to control the birth rate of stray dogs in the streets of city by way of sterilization.

Source : http://punjabnewsexpress.com/punjab/news/amritsar-municipal-corporation-remained-failed-in-implementing-laws-to-prevent-dog-bites-58210.aspx

Date : 24 Feb 2014


Army conducts workshop to tackle threat from wild animals

Srinagar, Feb 20 (PTI) The Army today conducted a workshop for residents of far-flung areas in Kulgam district on how to avoid man-animal conflict in wake of numerous such incidents in recent past.

“On the request of the people, the Army camp in Nohama organised a workshop on precautions against the attacks by bears and leopards.

A large number of local representatives from areas near forests attended the workshop in which various precautionary measures were explained,” an army official said here.

He said the people were advised not to venture out alone in remote areas especially during evenings and night hours.

“If absolutely necessary, they should carry adequate lighting equipments like torches or lamps,” he said adding the locals were also taught how to make “mashals” using local materials and use crackers to scare away the wild animals.

The need to properly dispose leftover food by burying or burning them to avoid attracting wild animals and keeping livestocks in closed spaces was also highlighted, he said.

The locals were cautioned against leaving children alone or unattended in such areas as they are most vulnerable to attacks by wild animals.

“The people appreciated the concern shown by the Army for their wellbeing,” he said.

Nohama and the adjoining areas are located at the foothills of Kadlabal ridge where the people live in vicinity of the dense forest and abundant wildlife.

There have been numerous sightings of dangerous and wild animals in the residential areas here in recent past.

Heavy snowfall leading to paucity of food in the forest areas invariably leads to increase in the number of incidents of man-animal conflict.

Source : http://www.india.com/news/agencies/army-conducts-workshop-to-tackle-threat-from-wild-animals-1856147/

Date : 22 Feb 2017


After Jallikattu supporters, now circus owners to come together against animal NGOs like PETA

Through the days when Tamilnadu saw Jallikattu supporters out on the streets protesting against the Supreme Court’s ruling that banned the sport, the protestors unanimously demanded a ‘Ban on PETA’. Now, circus owners form across the country have come together to safeguard circus industry which, they claim, has been suffering due to unfair treatment meted out to them by animal NGOs. Recently, on January 21, the supporters of bullock cart race had gathered in Chakan, Pune, to protest against animal organisation PETA and its stand on Jallikattu and bullock cart races.
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On February 6 and 7, a meeting was held in Chennai that was attended by representatives of nearly 20 circus owners based across the country including Rambo Circus, Jamuna Circus, Global Circus, Amar Circus, Grand Circus, Gemini Circus, Jumbo Circus and Great Royal Circus, among others. While so far, all the circuses were fighting their individual battles, it is the first time that the circus owners have come together we all have come together to form Indian Cultural and Traditional Organisation for the Circuses (ICTOC), whose registration is in process. In the coming days, the members plan to write a letter to Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) mentioning their demands and concerns. Besides, they also plan to meet the President of India. Another meeting is soon to be held in Nagpur.

Feroz Khan Ilyas, the treasurer of ICTOC and the owner of Great Royal Circus, a 110 year old circus from Maharashtra, says, “There was a time when India had more than 200 circuses. Currently, we have less than 35 circuses. While most of them are struggling to survive, some like ours, are almost on the verge of shutting down. We have nothing against government rules and regulations, we are not demanding lifting of ban of wild animals in circuses. All of us have suffered because of the harassment and interference of animal NGOs who make false reports about condition of our animals with the soul aim of confiscating them. We have come together to fight against these unlawful activities of animal NGOs.”

The members who attended the meeting rue that instead of animal NGOs, a government-authorised committee should inspect the circuses which should consist of representatives of Animal Husbandry Department, a veterinarian and a forest department official, so that biased decisions can be avoided. Though the circus owners are not looking at lifting of ban on wild animals, they are seeking regularization of rules related to domestic animals used for performance in circus.

Shenil Mottal, whose father worked with various circuses and later founded Grand Circus 30 years ago, said, “On several occasions we have suffered harassment from NGOs, who just picked up our animals one-by-one citing that we were ‘cruel’ to them. In 2001, our chimpanzees were seized by one animal NGO. Though we won the court case later, the NGO imposed several impractical conditions for the upkeep of animals. After sometime, we lost our patience and surrendered our animals. Surprisingly, there are so many rules for circuses but there are no rules for NGOs.”

While there were those who could sustain, other succumbed and shut down like Bharat Circus, Rajkamal Circus, National Circus, Malabar Circus, Komal Circus and Metro Circus, among others. As on date, nearly 10,000 people earn livelihood through circuses based across the country. Other than the ban on the wild animals and constant scrutiny by NGOs, the owners rue that they have also been hit hard by the rule that prohibits circuses from employing artistes below 18 years.

“In several reality shows on television, artistes as small as 3 to 4 years are seen performing various stunts. If the government can permit that than why are we being denied permission,” says Mottal, who is an engineering graduate and was working with IBM for seven years before he started Global Circus alongwith his brother. In order to continue running the show, he says, he’s been consciously experimenting with themes and performances. In the recent past, he collaborated with theatre artistes to present drama projects that were a combination of circus and theatre.

Every circus owner complains that the confiscated animals are used by animal NGOs to seek donations from overseas. “They use social media and circulate stories that create a sorry state of the rescued animal,” says Sharly Kaur of 120 year old Jamuna Circus, whose elephant was seized by an NGO. Although the Hyderabad Court gave verdict in her favour, she is yet to get the animal.

Justifying the need of forming ICTOC, Niraj Gadge of Nagpur-based Amar Circus says that it’s important to save the dying art form. “Our demand is that animal NGOs like PETA, PFA and Animal Rahat, who work with the main purpose of earning money through donations, should be banned. On the name of ‘animal cruelty’, they are only doing arm-twisting,” he said.

Source : http://indianexpress.com/article/india/after-jallikattu-supporters-now-circus-owners-to-come-together-against-animal-ngos-like-peta-4534718/

Date : 22 Feb 2017


Animal cruelty cases don’t compel offenders to even come to court, suggests BSPCA data

Animal cruelty cases, which are both bailable and account for scanty fines, don’t compel offenders to even come to court, data suggests. Between 2011 and 2016, the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) has registered over 20,000 cases of animal cruelty at various police stations.

However, in 13,089 of these cases, the accused did not appear in court, but still paid the fines. “The fines for animal cruelty are too meager for a person to not hesitate to harm a domestic animal again,” said Lt. Col (Dr) J C Khanna, BSPCA Secretary. BSPCA, is probably the largest complainant in animal cruelty cases in the city.

The Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (PCA) Act 1960 covers all forms of physical torture or abuse against animals. Any such act is punishable for the first time with a fine of Rs 10 which may extend up to Rs 50. The fine for the second offence ranges between Rs 25 and Rs 100.

Under the Widlife Act, cruelty to animals like peacocks, which is a non-cognisable and non-compoundable offence, the maximum punishment as per Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, is six years, or a fine of Rs 25,000, or both. “In some case the offender is asked by the government to pay Rs 500 but that is the maximum. When we register these cases we try to add as many charges against the offender to increase the fines but the fines are still too little to have any impact,” Khanna added.

According to data, the number of animal cruelty cases under PCA rose for three years between 2011-13 before showing a decline in the next two years. Khanna attributed this dip to the decision of putting ban on sale or use of a number of animals like bullocks, which were used to transport ice and sugarcane in the city. In 2011, the court cases reported were 3,333, the subsequent years recorded 3,379 and 3,974 cases.

In 2014, however, a slump in such cases was noticed and the number stood at 3,083 cases, a further dip to 2,966 was observed in 2015. Interestingly, the number of animal cruelty cases again rose in 2016 with 3,357 cases that went to court.

In all of the 20,092 cases registered by BSCPA that went to any Metropolitan magistrate in Mumbai, only 7,003 cases saw convictions.

“The animal cruelty cases that go to trial only last a maximum of two hearing, depending if the offender doesn’t come to court on the first hearing. These cases are very quickly dealt with, where the judge would only ask ‘Gunaah kabool hai?’ (Do you admit the crime?) and the offender because he has appeared in court says ‘kabool’ (admit) and pays the fine and the matter is over,” Khanna said.

The data further indicates that cattle — cows, bullocks, goats, etc — are most cruelly treated. A steady rise in cruelty cases against cattle was observed between 2011-13, with 1,842, 2,189 and 2,957 trials reported respectively.

In 2014 and 2015, an average of 2,340 cases went to court. While, the previous year saw 2,862 cases registered for cruelty against cattle. Over Rs 40 lakh has been collected in fines, of which Rs 30 lakh was with BSPCA to pay their employees and treat the injured animals, while the remaining Rs 10 lakh went to the state’s treasury.

Source : http://indianexpress.com/article/india/animal-cruelty-cases-dont-compel-offenders-to-even-come-to-court-suggests-bspca-data-4535353/

Date : 22 Feb 2017


PETA India releases video on cruelty to male chicks

Hyderabad: People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on Tuesday released a video, which captures the manner in which millions of male chicks in hatcheries and farms in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were drowned, burned, crushed or subjected to other forms of cruelty.

The video, according to PETA India’s government affairs liaison Nikunj Sharma, was shot by the Israel-based ‘Anonymous for Animal Rights’ last year at various major hatcheries and farms in the two Telugu States.
picture-1 chick in hand picture-2 slumped chick on ground picture-3 bin of chicks picture-4 prolapse picture-5 sexing picture-6 dead and rejected picture-7 debeaking picture-8 grinder picture-9 drowning picture-10 burning picture-11 suffocated picture-12 crushed picture-13 crowded dead picture-14 stepped on picture-15 lone chick in pond

The video, Mr. Sharma said, documented problems with incubator-caused deformities, cutting of chicks’ beaks with hot blades without anesthetics, tossing unwanted chicks into large grinders, being drowned in bins, tossed into fires and so on.

In response to these atrocities, PETA wanted the government to consider the new ‘in ovo’ sexing technology, by which the gender of the chicks could be determined before they hatch and thus potentially prevent large-scale killing of male chicks; to establish a written standard for painless veterinary euthanasia for unhealthy chicks and to take stern action against companies that kill chicks in cruel ways.

The video documents the various methods used in companies like Diamond Group, Suguna Foods, SH Group, Srinivasa Hatcheries Ltd, SR Group, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt Ltd, Skylark Hatcheries and so on.

Source : http://telanganatoday.news/peta-india-releases-video-male-chicks

Date : 22 Feb 2017


Third leopard trapped in Sariska, this time a male

The Sariska forest authorities trapped a male leopard in the early hours of Tuesday and sent it to the Jaipur zoo for verification of its identity. Officials suspect the animal to be one of the two male leopards released from the zoo in the tiger reserve three weeks ago. Four villagers have since died in leopard attacks, barely 25 km from the area where the big cats were released.

“We tracked pug marks to anticipate the animal’s movement and set up cages. The male was trapped at the Santwala Kora near Govindpura village. The veterinarians at the zoo should be able to verify if it is one of the two leopards released recently,” said a senior forest official in Sariska.

Govindpura is halfway between the villages of Kalalaka-Raipura and Jaitpur-Sili Baori where two villagers each were killed in leopard attacks between February 5 and 12. This is the third leopard trapped since killings started in the outskirts of Sariska Tiger Reserve. The two leopards captured on February 8 and 17 were females. DNA samples from all three leopards trapped so far will be matched with the DNA obtained from leopard saliva found on the victims.

Nearly three weeks ago, two leopards held in the Jaipur zoo for over three months were released back into the Sariska Tiger Reserve by the Rajasthan forest department. Since then, four villagers have died in leopard attacks, barely 25 km from the area where the big cats were released.

Source : http://indianexpress.com/article/india/third-leopard-trapped-in-sariska-this-time-a-male-4536162/

Date  : 22 Feb 2017


Who’s afraid of strays? Big turnout at adoption event

KOCHI: To the surprise of the organizers, Kochiites turned up in full hordes at the free animal adoption and vaccination drive aimed to promote domestication of Indian breed dogs.

“I thought people might adopt around 20 dogs but before 1pm over 50 dogs and 10 kittens were adopted,” said Ranjini Haridas, a member of an NGO that organized the event. All the puppies brought were adopted by the people who turned up at the event. Most of the dogs brought to the event were either abandoned or stray puppies that did not belong to popular foreign breeds. The pups were first domesticated at homes and farms of various animal lovers across the state. “We did not bring fully-grown dogs as we thought that they might scare people away but that was not the case, people were enquiring for older dogs as well,” said Aswini Prem, an animal rights activist. She said even older dogs can be easily tamed and domesticated within a month.

“I don’t fret about whether it’s a foreign breed or an Indian one. I came here simply because I wanted two dogs, with whom I can get along,” said Lakshmi Vijaykumar, who waited for more than an hour so that organizers could arrange an abandoned dog for adoption.

Once all the dogs that the organizers brought were adopted, they were busy contacting veterinary clinics around the city for strays and abandoned dogs.

“Over 200 people have registered with us. We can contact them when we find a stray,” said Aswini Prem, an animal rights activist. Ranjini said the huge turnout has given them confidence to organize such an event every three months.

“Pet shops mostly sell foreign dogs while the population of stray dogs in India has been increasing. The main motivation behind organizing such an event was to show that Indian breeds can be just as friendly as any other dogs,” said Akshay V Prabhu, a member of the NGO.

He said that Indian dogs are also more suited to the city’s climatic conditions and hence it is easier to raise them. Many foreign dogs are often abandoned once the cost of taking care of them starts taking a financial toll on the owners.

“There are over 6 lakh people living in Kochi. If just 10% of them adopt a dog, the city’s stray dog problem will end,” said Prabhu

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/whos-afraid-of-strays-big-turnout-at-adoption-event/articleshow/57247481.cms

Date : 20 Feb 2017