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Report No. 269


Summary of the Representations/Responses

The Law Commission of India upon the request of the Government of India, examined the status of the laws and trends relating to the housekeeping and transport of poultry birds. The Commission invited views/comments from the various stakeholders through an appeal dated 12th April 2017.

On 2nd May, 2017, Letters have been written to all Chief Secretaries of the States and UT's asking the various stakeholders by giving wide publicity to take part in the endeavour of the law commission and assist us in getting their opinion Comments have been received from organisations, restaurants, prominent individuals, retired members of the judiciary, medical practitioners, journalists and a poultry farm.

The representations have stated the following:

  • The representation brought to the commission notice is the unhygienic conditions of the poultry industry and the effect of battery- cage confinement on the well-being of the birds. The need for better facilities of housing to ensure more free and natural movement of the birds. The increase of fatal diseases like cancer, etc. due to the unhygienic conditions the birds are kept in. The impact of these unhygienic conditions is on people who consume meat or eggs of such birds.
  • The cruel practices of the breaking of beaks and the killing of young male chicks in the industry.The practice of unnecessary feeding non-therapeutic antibiotics given to the birds (which eventually leads to antibiotic resistance) is only to counter the effects of cruel confinement in battery cages. The impact of slaughter and the unhygienic condition in industry is on human. The need for a humane system of rearing and 38 breeding lacks the necessary facilities in the poultry industry, and the necessity to end the battery cage facilities. Consumers ask for cruelty- free meat/ organically-produced eggs and the lack of such an existing trend in the larger market makes it difficult for seller's and hotel industries to cater to the business; advocacy of more humane treatment of the hens in this regard.
  • Requested for more compassionate handling of the birds in the poultry industry and appeals for ending of battery cage facilities. More natural environment of housing that allows the hens to perch and move about freely is a better alternative to the existing practice of battery cages. The practices to be used by the farming industry must be more human. The need for better farming techniques and an immediate change in the manner in which they are kept. The tremendous health impact of increasing antibiotic resistance in poultry-farm birds and the need to notify the Draft Rules. The reasons for ending battery cage confinement of the poultry-farm birds as it lead to the cruelty towards them and need an immediate intervention of Government with respect to Rules regulating the same to curb the inhuman practices.
  • the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and the Food Safety and Standards Act that speak of ensuring the dignity and humane treatment of animals; appeal to end battery cage confinement of the birds and notification of draft rules for the purpose. Early notification of Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg- Laying Hens) Rules, 2012, emphasizes the inhumane treatment of male chicks in the poultry industry. Related personal experiences when studying the poultry industry for journalistic purposes and detailed the cruelty and need for this cruelty to be curbed.

1 Anne Peters, "Liberté, Égalité, Animalité: Human-Animal Comparisons in Law" available at: (last accessed on June 24, 20117.

2 See P. Singer, Animal liberation( Thorsons Publishers Ltd, 1975).

3 See A.M. de Passillé & J. Rushen, "Food Safety and Environmental Issues in Animal Welfare"24(2) Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz. 757 (2005).

4 Philip G. Chambers and Temple Grandin "Guidelines for Humane Handling, Transport and Slaughter of Livestock" (RAP Publication 2001/4, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

5 Krishna, Nanditha, "Sacred Animals of India" (2010), Penguin Books India; and Allen, Barbara, "Animals in Religion: Devotion, Symbol and Ritual" (2016), Reaktion Books.

6 Kautilya, "The Arthshashtra", edited and translated by L.N.Rangrajan 61 ( Penguin Books India , 1992).

7 (2014) 7 SCC 547

8 Article 48, Constitution of India, 1950.

9 Article 48A, Constitution of India, 1950.

10 Section 3, PCA Act.

11 Section 4, PCA Act.

12 Entry 15, List II, Schedule VII, Constitution of India, 1950.

13 World Organization for Animal Health, Animal Welfare. animal-welfare-at-a-glance/ Accessed on April 13, 2017

14 Supra note 7

15 (2012) 3 SCC 277. 16(2012) 4 SCC 362.

17 (2013) 8 SCC 234.

18 Welfare Quality assessment Protocol for Poultry, available at: Protocol.pdf (last visited on June 26, 2017).

19 Supra note 7.

20 (2005) 8 SCC 534

21 Compassion Unlimited Plus Action v. Union of India (2016)3SCC 85 (paragraph 67)

22 Transfer Petition (Civil) No(s).1095-1098 OF 2016

23 WP 9056/2016, WP 9622/2016, WP 9630/2016&WP 10990/2016

24 WP (MD) No. 8040 of 2014

25 2015 JX (Guj)378:2014

26 (CR.A/1635/2010)

27 1999 (63) ECC 709

28 Decided on 15th May 2015, Delhi High Court, CRL.M.C. 2051/2015 (MANU/DE/2074/2015)

29 Government of India; State/UT-wise estimates of Egg Production by Fowls during the years 2008-09 to 2012-13 fowls-during-2008-09-2012-13/download

30 Indian J. Anim. Hlth. (2015), 54(2): 89-108 Review Article An Overview Of Poultry Production In India R.N. Chatterjee* And U. Rajkumar


32 Problems related to farm operations in poultry farming as perceived by farm women, ations%20in%20poultry%20farming%20as%20pe.pdf



35 L. Tollefson, S.F. Altekruse and M.E. Potter, "Therapeutic Antibiotics in Animal Feeds and Antibiotic Resistance", Res. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz. 1997 16 (2), 7090715

36 Robert Pym. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "Poultry Genetics and breeding in developing countries"

37 Supra note 28.

Transportation and House-keeping of Egg-laying hens (layers) and Broiler Chickens Back

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