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Cruel and illegal practices in the egg industry exposed

With its new investigation, Animal Equality exposes cruel and illegal practices at egg farms across India and why there is a need for a complete ban on cages
November 29, 2023 Updated: December 8, 2023

With its new investigation, Animal Equality exposes cruel and illegal practices at egg farms across India and why there is a need for a complete ban on cages

Animal Equality documented 19 egg facilities between July to September 2023 in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which are known for their egg production. 

We found:

[1] How it is a common practice to cram four to eight hens in a cage no bigger than two A4 sheets of papers. Because of these crammed conditions hens often trample each other in an attempt to find space to move.

[2] The hen’s claws are designed to scratch vigorously and thus stay short and blunt. But because of the wired floor of the cage their feet were sore, cracked and deformed.

[3] The overcrowded cages are stacked one on top of another and the litter is collected in huge piles underneath the cages, which is disposed of once every few weeks.

[4] It is a common sight to see hens suffering from feather loss, abrasions and skin irritations, due to the high concentration of ammonia in the air which comes from the piled up litter.

[5] There is little to no veterinary care provided to the hens. Sick hens are left to die a slow agonising death.

What we are doing:

Amruta Ubale, Executive Director of Animal Equality India says, “This is Animal Equality’s third study into egg farms. The first, in 2017, exposed the cruel and illegal practices on egg farms and the findings were presented to the government along with a list of recommendations to reduce the suffering of hens. Some of these recommendations were included in the Law Commission’s proposed rules for the welfare of hens which ultimately reflect in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules 2019. But the suggestion of a complete ban on cages has not been included, instead slightly bigger cages have been prescribed.” 

The use of any sized cage in essence violates what are known as the ‘Five Freedoms’, as they don’t enable the animals to express natural behaviours and make the animals uncomfortable, fearful and distressed, as well as more susceptible to diseases. The Supreme Court in its order dated 7th May 2014 directed for ‘Five Freedoms’ to be embedded in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 thereby making it mandatory, which is done by the government in its draft PCA Amendment Act. We are therefore once again requesting the government to ban ALL cages. 

How you can help:

As consumers we have the power to help end this suffering. One way to make a difference today is by considering replacing meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal products with plant-based alternatives. By joining our Love Veg movement and inviting your friends to do the same, we can create a world where more people choose kindness over cruelty.

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